Bangladesh telco Banglalink has confirmed the shutdown of its 3G network.

In doing so, the company which is a subsidiary of Amsterdam-based Veon, has become the first carrier in the country to retire the service.

Feature: What the 2G and 3G shutoff means for 5G

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Banglalink said it will now switch its focus to expanding its 4G mobile network, a strategy seen in many markets in recent years.

The company noted that its 4G network population coverage has grown from 60 percent to 88 percent since the end of 2020 to the end of the first quarter of 2024.

During the same period, the carrier has grown its 4G subscriber base from eight million to 21.5 million.

“As Bangladesh’s Digital Operator, our goal is to deliver seamless connectivity and innovative services to our customers,“ said Erik Aas, CEO of Banglalink.

“By reallocating more resources to 4G, we will take the customer experience to new heights and enhance our customers' 4G experiences. We are also helping to accelerate the nation’s journey towards the 'Smart Bangladesh Vision 2041,' supported by new fast infrastructure and state-of-the-art digital services.”

A number of telcos globally have completed the shutdown of their 3G networks in the last few months, notably EE and Vodafone in the UK, while others such as Italy's Wind Tre have announced a retirement date for next year.

Earlier this year Banglalink finalized the sale of 2,000 telecom towers in Bangladesh to Summit Towers as part of a $100 million deal.