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Robi to phase-out third generation mobile technology by 2023

Dhaka, 30 September 2021: Robi has become the first mobile operator in Bangladesh to set a date for the retirement of its 3G services. In order to further bolster its 4G network, the leading digital operator plans to phase-out the third-generation mobile technology by 2023. The phased transition will kick off from from Chapai Nawabganj, Naogaon and Natore.

Despite constant evolution of wireless network technology, 4G is likely to remain the standard for several decades to come. Robi’s visionary decision to sunset its 3G network, therefore, only reflects this reality.

The phasing out of 3G technology is not going to affect Robi’s regular voice services. Customers whose mobile data use is still limited to the 3G network in the areas where the transition takes place, will be proactively informed by Robi to switch to 4G. Robi will offer its customers 4G SIM with smart handheld devices. Alongside 4G device bundle offers, attractively priced product and service offers will be provided to customers who would be switching to 4G. The 3G customers will be communicated directly through SMS with clear direction on how they can switch to 4G service.

By sunsetting 3G network, Robi aims to free up its network resources to provide faster, more efficient and optimal data experiences to its customers with its 4G network. Phasing out 3G will also allow the company to dedicate the entire data network resources to 4G which will result in further widened coverage, improved network quality, as well as stronger traffic carriage capacity in Robi network.

There is a growing trend of the number of 3G devices declining in Robi network, while 4G devices keep rising. As a result, Robi is experiencing rapidly rising traffic on its 4G network, while the same declining on the older 3G and 2G network. This shift in device preference for 4G devices is providing an opportunity to offer higher throughput utilizing the enhanced 4G network. Similar trends are observed in the global arena, where it is recognized that 2G and 4G technology will have a longer lifetime, while 3G is getting phased out.

Robi has already rolled out 4G in more than 14,000 4G sites that covers 98% of the population. It has the highest percentage of data users (72.4%) in the industry with around two crore 4G subscribers. Robi’s vision for digital championship very much hinges on 4G. This announcement therefore provides further clarity to the future direction as a digital company.