Getting on the internet with Grameen's EDGE service

Posted on 10. Feb, 2008 by in FAQ
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~story by Mikey Leung~

Grameenphone LogoAfter reading Kirsty’s recent post about her upcoming visit to Bangladesh, there is one thing that most flashpackers like herself don’t know about this “underdeveloped” nation.

Bangladesh has one of the best internet connectivity services I’ve experienced in the entire world. Although there are mixed reviews on that subject.

From my point of view, it is absolutely amazing that, using an EDGE-enabled mobile phone, one can have wireless broadband connectivity almost everywhere in Bangladesh (except for the Chittagong Hill Tracts, where people use antennas to get mobile signal for voice communications. Often it is not strong enough for data service). EDGE is the successor of GPRS, an older, slower technology for packet data transfer.

Here’s what you need:

  • EDGE-enabled mobile phone (our suggestion is the Nokia 6110 for 6,500Tk or about $100 USD). You can check Grameen’s list of phones here, or browse your mobile phone vendor’s site for more information.
  • Some way to connect the phone to the computer. If you own a Mac, Bluetooth works alright although there are sometimes modem errors (see this article for more information). Otherwise a PC can be connected with a USB cable, and if you use a Nokia mobile, use the PC Suite application to control the phone’s internet mobile connection.
  • Grameen Post-paid SIM card. Head to a Grameenphone customer service center and bring a copy of your passport plus two passport pictures. Make sure they activate the EDGE service on the SIM card. The best part is the cost: Tk1,150 per month for unlimited browsing ($15 USD per month).

If you’re not the most technically inclined person, it is best to bring your computer to the Grameenphone customer service center along with your mobile phone. They should be able to help you to complete the connection and get you online.

There are other services available in Bangladesh, but only Grameen offers unlimited bandwidth service, so it gets our vote because we are data-hungry people!

Hands-On Disaster Response provides an even more comprehensive guide at this link (PDF, 48KB). Cheers for putting that together, HODR!!

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6 Responses to “Getting on the internet with Grameen's EDGE service”

  1. RASEL 29 August 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    I want to know how much mony a month to use unlimited internet
    pls give right information to my id.
    or Call Me
    01717-321832

  2. Tech News 20 June 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    Tech News, Technology review

  3. Nayem uddin 25 May 2009 at 10:03 pm #

    Chittagong banskaly gunagory kashmohal low internet no EDGE work with gprs taowar

  4. Faysel 14 January 2009 at 2:15 am #

    I have just returned from Bangladesh.
    Whilst there I signed up to the Tk1150 package (prepay).
    I connected to the internet using a 8800 arte, usb data cable and nokia pc suite.
    It was a breeze to connect (just right click in pc suite icon on computer and then click connect to the internet icon and that was it, it was connected),the service was good and comparible to 3 internet in the UK (which is supposed to 3G), the speeds were never really fast but OK for general web browsing and emails, you can forget about downloading except for small file.
    Overall, I was happy with the whole experiance considering I have a 18mb line in the UK and the need for internet in Bangladesh is quite low.

  5. Zulfiquar Sayeed 24 November 2008 at 3:35 am #

    I am in Bangladesh and just bought the Edge laptop card from Grameen (vendor Mobidata) and signed up for the P2 unlimited taka 1150 package. Altogether the numbers as fars as the $$s are concerned are aligned with the email above. However!!!, it is far from broadband I have been getting 15 kbps with 5 out of 5 bars on the RF level, and now it is 3 am and I am getting slightly better. From the “developed” world perspective, to borrow a negation of a negation from the author’s own posting, I must say, this is by no means broadband. As they say in Bangladesh, it is fraudband and a wate of some good $120 dollars which I could have paid some other vendor to get better service than what Grameen claims to be unlimited internet. I can get 33.6 kbps using my pstn modem with agni, a far better choice indeed!!

    Bangladesh has no internet for the masses, alas!

  6. Kirsty 10 February 2008 at 9:43 am #

    Thanks for the advice! I actually found your guide a bit more useful because HODR’s gives a few choices and I wouldn’t have really known which one to pick. I’ll check out that place for sure. If I can sort out a connection I’ll be ppretty happy…. all that remains to be seen is whether I actually do any work at nights or not. I doubt it.


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