Nearly nine years past its launch, wireless broadband operator Qubee has brought to a close its individual subscriber-centric services.
Bangladesh's second largest WiMax operator said it was seeking to reshape its business by focusing on enterprise customers as people have started opting for high-speed mobile internet since the launch of 3G technology in 2013.
Qubee earlier sent letters telling over 12,000 individual subscribers that similar services would be facilitated from its main competitor Banglalion once Qubee shut its own facilities on August 30.
Apart from them, Qubee has about 1,000 corporate customers. It said to have struck a customer handover agreement, which industry people say is a first for the country, under which it would continue to get 30 percent of the revenue its customers generated.
However, GM Faruq Khan, Banglalion's head of marketing and communication, said only around 2,000 of the customers adopted the shift while the rest stopped availing WiMax services.
Chinmay Devorsi, a Qubee customer, confirmed that the connection went down around midnight on August 30. He said to have opted for a 4G mobile connection since then.
Proteek Kundu, chief commercial officer of Augere Wireless Broadband Bangladesh Ltd, which owns Qubee, said WiMax technology was globally becoming obsolete and vendors no longer produced wireless broadband service equipment.
He said they were upgrading their network to long-term evolution (LTE) technology, which would be launched by December before individual subscriber-centric services were again offered. “LTE is a future technology, so we are going to introduce it.”
A top Qubee official said they would bring down the number of base stations from about 350 to 90. Last month the company halved its workforce to 90.