Connecting Technology and Innovation
Access to Information Empowers
Imagine having to travel more than six miles from your home just to make a phone call. You would miss out on work opportunities and desperately needed income. For millions living on less than $2 per day, affordable and reliable access to telecommunications often simply does not exist. Without this ability to communicate, communities are at both an enormous economic and social disadvantage.
Based on the pioneering work of Grameen Phone in Bangladesh, Village Phone extends the benefits of affordable telecommunications access in a sustainable, profitable and empowering way. Microfinance clients borrow the money needed to purchase a “Village Phone business” – literally, a business in a box. These grassroots entrepreneurs, or Village Phone Operators (VPOs), run their businesses in rural villages where little to no telecommunications services previously existed and rent the use of the phone to their community on a per-call basis. The VPOs provide affordable rates to their customers while earning enough to repay their loans. The additional profits that they earn allow them to make investments in their children’s health, nutrition and education, and in other business ventures.
Innovating and delivering sustainable business solutions that improve the lives and livelihoods of the poor
Village Phone allows everyone to benefit. VPOs have strong, thriving businesses. Microfinance institutions provide financial services and earn income on the loan interest, as well as commissions from the sale of prepaid airtime cards to their clients. They also attract new clients who are drawn by the opportunity to start a technology-oriented business. Telecommunications companies we partner with benefit by tapping a new market while at the same time furthering their social responsibility objectives. More importantly, individuals living in rural communities gain access to affordable telecommunication services linking them to their friends, family, business contacts and the world.
Leading a Global Movement
Our goal is to help create a global Village Phone movement that allows the world’s rural poor access to reliable and affordable telecommunications. With that in mind, the GrameenTechnologyCenter has approached this endeavor with a multi-tiered strategy, working with a variety of organizations around the world. We have had extensive experience partnering with multi-national corporations, telecommunications operators, and microfinance institutions, as well as a range of other organizations.
Village Phone projects currently underway in:
In 2005, the Village Phone team published the Village Phone Replication Manual, the first step-by-step implementation guide for replicating Village Phone throughout the world.
To further assist in the development of Village Phone, the VillagePhoneAssistanceCenter was designed to support microfinance institutions and other organizations as they implement their own Village Phone programs for their clients throughout the world. This one-stop shop contains a comprehensive program manual available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, and a variety of other tools needed to independently develop a Village Phone product.
Welcome To Grameenphone Internet
Internet is the most convenient medium of information, through which people can enhance their knowledge, spread the same from one corner of the globe to whichever place they wish with a single click.
Communication solutions developed by Grameenphone across all the media have always focused one single thing – to help people stay close to their dear ones and to enlighten their lives through free and flawless access to information. Grameenphone internet is another step towards fulfilling this goal. With this step, Grameenphone promises to enlighten the lives of 20 million people by providing easier and faster access to information than ever before.
Grameenphone so far brought Internet to people in the following ways:
1) Desktop and Laptop browsing: by using the mobile as modem or by internet modem
2) Mobile screen browsing: WAP/internet browsing on the mobile
3) CIC: More than 550 CICs all over the country for those who do not have access to PC or other facilities.
Grameenphone is looking to expand further into the digital world by expanding its internet platforms and developing more internet related products, thus becoming the biggest Internet Service Provider of Bangladesh.
November 28, 1996
Grameenphone was offered a cellular license in Bangladesh by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications
March 26, 1997
Grameenphone launched its service on the Independence Day of Bangladesh
November 5, 2006
After almost 10 years of operation, Grameenphone has over 10 million subscribers
September 20, 2007
Grameenphone announces 15 million subscribers.
Grameenphone is now the leading telecommunications service provider in the country with more than 20 million subscribers as of June 2008.
Presently, there are about 30 million telephone users in the country, of which, a little over one million are fixed-phone users and the rest mobile phone subscribers.
Starting its operations on March 26, 1997, the Independence Day of Bangladesh, Grameenphone has come a long way. It is a joint venture enterprise between Telenor (62%), the largest telecommunications service provider in Norway with mobile phone operations in 12 other countries, and Grameen Telecom Corporation (38%), a non-profit sister concern of the internationally acclaimed micro-credit pioneer Grameen Bank.
Over the years, Grameenphone has always been a pioneer in introducing new products and services in the local market. GP was the first company to introduce GSM technology in Bangladesh when it launched its services in March 1997.The technological know-how and managerial expertise of Telenor has been instrumental in setting up such an international standard mobile phone operation in Bangladesh. Being one of the pioneers in developing the GSM service in Europe, Telenor has also helped to transfer this knowledge to the local employees over the years.
The media centre can be utilized by the members of the media community and other interested stakeholders to access various media-related content and information. Kindly click on the following links to visit the respective section.
Many subscribers are being harassed with unwanted or disturbing calls on a daily basis. To overcome this problem, Grameenphone introduces Call Block Service to its valued subscribers. Call Block Service enables subscribers to easily block unwanted calls to their mobile phones anytime, anywhere.
Any GP subscriber can subscribe to the service by simply dialing *111*1*1# or sending Reg to 5678.
Product features and usage:
There are two ways to enjoy the service: SMS and USSD (*111#). Subscribers will be able to add, delete and/or change the numbers in their blacklists through both these means. Monthly fee for the service is BDT 30 per month with 10 free number slots. Subscribers can add a total of 20 slots in the black list with an additional price of BDT 10 per number.
With 10 free slots subscribers can block as many numbers as s/he wants. For example, a subscriber blocked 10 numbers by using 10 slots. After a period, s/he can delete one number from the slot and add another number with no additional charge. In this way, the subscriber can remove any number from the first 10 slot to add new numbers in the blacklist.
To make it easy for the subscribers, GP has introduced a fully functional USSD menu for this service, which will guide the subscriber through all the features of this service. This can be done simply by dialing *111*1#
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