Grameenphone has now launched the Opera Mini Web browser to customers. In a market that relies heavily on mobile phones for Internet access, Grameenphone users can enjoy speedier surfing from their basic handsets.
Today, approximately 80 percent of Grameenphone’s Internet users rely on their mobile phones to get online. Most of these people do not own smartphones, but rather more basic feature phones which typically result in a more limited Web experience. To remedy this situation, Grameenphone recently announced the launch of the Opera Mini Web browser to customers.
Grameenphone benefits from Telenor’s global agreement with Opera
Grameenphone, a part of the Telenor Group, took advantage of Telenor’s global framework agreement with Opera Software (announced August 2010), allowing Telenor business units to offer the browser to customers. Opera Mini is unique in its ability to offer server-side Web page compression, meaning that the pages are compressed by up to 90 percent before they are sent to the phone. This allows the more basic phones used by the majority of Grameenphone customers to deliver a full-featured and fast Internet experience.
“We already have 400,000 active Opera Mini users on our network every month, and that is in the first quarter of 2011 alone. Since we officially launched a customized version of the browser on March 29, 2011, the browser has been downloaded more than 100,000 times,” said Odd-Egil Aasen, Director, Internet and Broadband, Grameenphone.
Customized browser to meet the needs of Grameenphone customers
Grameenphone users who have downloaded the official Grameenphone version of Opera Mini are already enjoying customized content designed to meet their online needs, including pre-set links to news, social media, cricket updates, jobs, a marketplace and more. Grameenphone and Opera have also worked together to ensure that users can download infotainment content, such as ringtones and music, from the company’s own content portal, GPWORLD.
“Our goal with this customized version of Opera Mini is to create better user experiences for our customers. We wanted to make it easy for them to get the information they needed in a user-friendly way, on the phones that they already own,” said Arild Kaale, Chief Marketing Officer of Grameenphone. “One of the benefits of Opera Mini is that server-side compression keeps the surfing costs low, so that Web access becomes affordable. For many in Bangladesh, the phone is the only gateway to the Web, and we believe that with better Web options, more and more Bangladeshis can get online and engage with the world.”
Making the Web more accessible in Bangladesh
Grameenphone has long been a pioneer of new products and services for the Bangladeshi market. They were the first to introduce GSM technology in Bangladesh back in 1997, and today their entire network is EDGE/GPRS enabled. Currently more than two million Grameenphone customers are active Internet users.
“Access to the Web should not be limited to the privileged few. For a majority of mobile telephony users in emerging markets, a mobile handset may turn out to be the primary way of accessing the Internet. The technology behind the Opera Mini browser is best suited for such markets, where EDGE/GPRS is widely used,” said Lars Boilsesen, CEO, Opera Software.
With the goal of increasing its active Internet user customer base, Grameenphone aims for millions of people to discover the Web each month, which would greatly improve Internet penetration throughout the country. Grameenphone is an active proponent of the social benefits of Web access, and the company is currently working to create awareness and educate people on the impact of the Internet on quality of life.