Telekom Malaysia International Bangladesh (TMIB) Limited is a joint venture between Telekom Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (70%) and NTT DoCoMo (30%).
Aktel is the third largest mobile phone operator in Bangladesh in terms of revenue and subscribers (8.14 million as of August 2008). In early 2008 Aktel slipped from the second position to the third after facing fierce competition from banglalink.
AKTEL boasts of the widest international roaming service in the market, connecting 315 operators across 170 countries. It is the first operator in the country to introduce GPRS. AKTEL uses GSM 900/1800 MHz standard and operates on allocated 12.8MHz frequency spectrum.
AKTEL launched its operations on the 15 November, 1997 in Dhaka
and in 26 March, 1998 in Chittagong
. Its founding chairman is Late Mr. Zahiruddin Khan, an ex-commerce minister. AKTEL was formed as a joint-venture between Telekom Malaysia and A.K. Khan Company. All along through its insception it was ranked as No.2 mobile operator and was placed far behind the industry leader GrameenPhone
in terms of revenue and no. of subscribers. AKTEL started investing heavily with funds from Telekom Malaysia (the majority stake owner) on expanding its network in 2001 but the investment was far too inadequate in comparison with GrameenPhone's investment. Although customer base was increasing heavily its position remained at No.2. Unlike GrameenPhone, AKTEL kept very low in marketing its brand. But from the end of 2004, AKTEL spent heavily to market its brand all over the media, outdoor and other marketing mediums. It was a huge success and the AKTEL brand became well established. Credit was given to the then Chief Operating Officer Mr. Vijay Watson who is believed to be the mastermind behind the change and success of AKTEL.
In mid 2008 news broke out that A.K.Khan & Company was selling its 30% and Vodafone, etisalat and NTT DoCoMo were among the potential buyers. Mr. Salahuddin Kasem Khan, former Chairman of AKTEL and Managing Director of A.K.Khan & Co Ltd represented the sellers . After months of negotiation NTT DoCoMo sealed a deal with A.K.Khan & Company for US $ 350mln on June 2008. The deal was completed on September 19, 2008
Aktel uses the following numbering scheme for its subscribers:
Where, 88 is the International subscriber dialling code for Bangladesh.
18 is the access code for AKTEL as assigned by the Government of Bangladesh. Omitting +88 will require to use 0 in place of it instead to represent local call, hence 018 is the general access code.
N1N2N3N4N5N6N7N8 is the subscriber number.
Aktel offers an array of different packages. In addition to offering the fundamental pre-paid and post-paid mobile services, it offers a wide range of value added products
and services such as, SMS
, mobile data services, infotainment services, SMS banking, Caller Ring Back Tone, Ringtones download, Picture Messaging, MMS
, Voice Greetings, Call Blocking on 4th August 2008, which give subscriber to control which call he or she receive or not. and Bengali SMS.
AKTEL has 19 Customer Care Centers and 200 Customer Service Points in 61 allowable districts all over the country. Aktel has another 670 AKtel Touch Points (ATP) scattered along the most densely populated areas. .
Aktel has been offering scholarships to three Bangladeshi students every year for bachelor courses in engineering, information technology and business administration since 1998 to study at Multimedia University
in Malaysia. It is the founding member of Chittagong Skills Development Centre (CSDC) that is offering technical training and business management education through its strategic partnership with Penang Skill Development Centre (PSDC) of Malaysia and its internal members. In 2007 Aktel received Standard Chartered
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award 2006
for their significant contributions to CSR
and philanthropic activities.
Criticism and penalty
In July 2005 an official of AKTEL was arrested on charges of misappropriation of crores of taka from the company. Avijit Kumar Saha, an executive of credit control division of AKTEL was arrested by police following a case filed accusing Avijit of misappropriating Tk 3,15,63,000 from the company.
In late 2007 Aktel had been fined BDT 1.45 billion (US$ 20mln) for its involvement in the illegal use of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or call termination business. by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
In May 2008 BTRC issued showcause notice to AKTEL for fake re-registration of subscribers.