‘Grameenphone’ is a company created jointly with ‘Grameen Telecom Corporation’ and a sister company for the more well-known “Telenor”, which has its headquarter in Nogway. One can also see Telenors identity through Grameenphones logo which is identical to Telenors logo. Grameenphone is the largest phone operator in Bangladesh.
We arrived to Grameenphone’s headquarter – a spectacular building, as compared to the country. We were met by three employees from Grameephone. They showed us to a conference room, in which the among other things told about the building. The building is created based on environmental awareness and employee satisfaction. From a Bangladeshi point of view is it a very high-technology building – I was highly impressed by their self-awareness and reflection about their technology compared to Western Europe.
There was also told about their ICT-solutions and how these is accomplish in Bangladesh. We had the opportunity to ask for questions. One question was which challenges there were within ICT-solutions in a land as Bangladesh. The answer here was that there could be great difficulty in being able to offer ICT solutions for rural areas.
The solution regarding ICT-solutions to rural areas is micro finance. Grameenphone is partially owned by ‘Grameen Telecom Corporation’ whic is a sister company to ‘microfinanceorganization and community development’. The idea with micro finance is that there is no lower limitation for how much to borrow. Thereby have people with a very low income easier access to financial opportunity and can therefor start entrepreneurship. Through micro finance entrepreneurs can thereby borrow money to open there own telecenter.
We were lucky enough to get out and visit one of these telecentres in the rural areas.
Within the telecenters one can buy and rent different kinds of ICT equipment for instance mobil phones and laptops. In addition to hardware equipment one can also get courses within difference software applications for instance Word and Excel or basically how to turn on and use the computer – one have to remember that skill set as these is not a matter of course in these ereas. As an example a lot of people from Bangladesh have their own mobile phone, it is their way to communicate with the surroundings, but they do not have electricity in their own home. With a telecenter one get the oppunitnity to recharge their mobile phone.