Airtel Bangladesh Ltd. is a GSM-based cellular operator in Bangladesh. Airtel is the sixth mobile phone carrier to enter the Bangladesh market, and originally launched commercial operations under the brand name "Warid Telecom" on May 10, 2007. Warid Telecom International LLC, an Abu Dhabi based consortium, sold a majority 70% stake in the company to India's Bharti Airtel Limited for US$300 million. Bharti Airtel Limited took management control of the company and its board, and rebranded the company's services under its own airtel brand from December 20, 2010. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission approved the deal on Jan 4, 2010.
Bharti Airtel made a fresh investment of USD 300 million to rapidly expand the operations of Warid Telecom and have management and board control of the company. This is the largest investment in Bangladesh by an Indian company. Dhabi Group continues as a strategic partner retaining 30% shareholding and has its nominees on the Board of the Company.
The new funding is being utilized for expansion of the network, both for coverage, capacity, and introduction of innovative products and services. As a result of this additional investment, the overall investment in the company will be in the region of USD 1 billion.
This is Bharti Airtel s second operation outside of India. The company launched its mobile services in Sri Lanka in January 2009 on a state-of-the-art 3.5G network. On July 19, 2007, the company crossed the 1 million customers mark in the first 70 days of operation.
airtel Bangladesh had 6.538 million subscribers as of April 2012.
In December 2005, Warid Telecom International LLC paid US$ 50 million to obtain a GSM license from the BTRC and became the sixth mobile phone operator in Bangladesh.
In a press conference on August 17, 2006, Warid announced that its network would be activated two months ahead of schedule, in October, 2006. Again in October, 2006 Warid Telecom put off the launch of its cellphone services in Bangladesh until April, 2007 after its major supplier Nokia walked out on an agreement over a payment dispute.
Warid had a soft launch at the end of January 2007. It gave away complimentary subscriptions among a selected group of individuals, whose job was to make 'test calls' and the operator adjusted its network's quality based on their comments.
On May 9, 2007, Warid in an advertisement in some daily newspaper stated that it would be launching publicly on May 10, 2007. However, no call rate nor any package details were revealed. The advertisement included an announcement for the people interested to buy Warid connections to bring the documents like ID Card, etc., to the designated franchise and customer care centres.
On October 1, 2007, Warid Telecom expanded its network to five more districts raising total number of districts under Warid coverage to 56, said a press release. Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Sherpur, Rajbari and Narail towns were covered by Warid network.
On November 10, 2007, 61 districts under Warid network coverage.
On June 10, 2008, Warid Telecom expanded its network to 3 more districts Bandarban, Khagrachhari and Rangamati. Now all 64 districts of Bangladesh are under Warid network coverage meaning Warid Telecom now has nationwide coverage.
On December 20, 2010, Warid Telecom was rebranded to airtel.
On December 21, 2011, Airtel Bangladesh launched "Airtel Circle of Friends", the first ever Interactive Commercial in Bangladesh, created and executed by Digimarka.
Airtel Bangladesh uses the following numbering scheme:
+880 16 N1N2N3N4N5N6N7N8
Where, 880 is the ISD code for Bangladesh and is needed only in case of dialling from outside Bangladesh.
16 is the prefix for Airtel Bangladesh as allocated by the government of Bangladesh. Omitting +880 will require using 0 in place of it instead to represent local call, hence 016 is the general prefix.
N1N2N3N4N5N6N7N8 is the subscriber number.
airtel provides both post-paid and pre-paid connection plans. The post-paid plan is branded and marketed across the country under the name airtel Postpaid, which means leader or royalty. The pre-paid segment is branded and marketed as airtel Prepaid.
The airtel Prepaid category is divided into five segments:
The airtel Postpaid category is divided into three segments:
- Airtel Exclusive
- Airtel Classic
- Airtel Advantage
Airtel-Postpaid and Airtel Prepaid user enjoy various value added services(VAS), such as SMS, MMS, GPRS, 64K SIM, Dual SIM product, Corporate packages for product advertising via SMS, and a host of other features. However, International Roaming is available only to Warid postpaid users.
AEC and ARC
Airtel has ten customer care centers around the country, which is known as 'airtel experience center (AEC), located at key locations. These centers are directly run by Airtel itself.
Warid Telecom Franchise.
Customer care center at Banani.
Airtel has another 120 dealer outlet spread across Bangladesh, the largest chain of retail outlets in the country, which is further backed up by a chain of sub-dealers, affinity partners & distributors. Dealer outlets of airtel known as "airtel relationship Center (ARC)"
SIM Cards, Scratch Cards and sometimes mobile sets are sold at these outlets. Bill collection for post paid users and Zem top up for pre-paid users can also be availed at the franchises. These franchises directly appoint dealers and sub-dealers in their designated areas.
- Bharti Airtel
- Airtel Africa
- Airtel Sri Lanka
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