Teletalk Limited is celebrating its first founding anniversary today (Wednesday) with little appreciation from the users due to its generally poor performance and fragile network service.
Millions of people, who welcomed the launching of the state-owned cellular phone service and struggled hard to get the connections only a year back, are hardly hankering after the brand.
"I am looking for a buyer to sell out my Teletalk connection, which I got after a weeklong hardship," Alamgir Hossain, a businessman in city's Eastern Plaza told the FE recently.
But now, it is useless to own the Teletalk connection because of poor performance and fragile network service, he alleged.
Like him, nearly 0.210 million Teletalk service users across the country are facing serious problems in maintaining communication with other private cell phone operators as well as its own users.
Post and Telecommunications Secretary Mahmud Hassan Mansur, also chairman of the Teletalk Limited, claimed that the performance of the Teletalk was satisfactory during its first year.
"Despite various constraints, I am satisfied with the performance", he told the FE Tuesday.
However, admitting the poor network service, he hoped that the problem would be solved within the next couple of months when the required number of Base Tower Stations (BTS) will be installed.
"The earning of the Teletalk is also quite satisfactory," he claimed without giving details of the financial statement.
The government launched the Teletalk at a cost of Tk 8.0 billion amidst high demand from the people in the country's market that was dominated by four private operators.
The private operators were allegedly charging high call and connectivity charges despite repeated calls for lowered tariff from different quarters.
Taletalk's full-fledged operation since last March triggered an intensive price war in the local market as the existing private operators almost halved the call charges. The duration of prepaid cards were also extended in line with Teletalk package.
"But for its own customers, Taletalk failed to provide necessary service due to lack of coordination as well as investment in network expansion," said a high Teletalk official on condition of anonymity.
When other established cell phone companies spent over Tk 1.0 billion to strengthen the network service in the current year, Teletalk spent only Tk 77.9 million till November, he added.
According to latest review report, the ministry has been urged to take necessary measures to install 32 additional BTS immediately in the capital for improving network service.
At present, 86 BTS are operative in the capital and 102 in 61 other districts. The Teletalk has planned to install 329 BTS throughout the country to support its targeted 2.5 million customers.
On fund allocation, the review report said a total of Tk 5.52 billion was spent on the project till last June. Till November, the government disbursed Tk 157.50 million, it added.