Microfinance: is the provision of financial
services to low-income clients or solidarity
lending groups including consumers and the
self-employed, who traditionally lack access to
banking and related services.
Two types of Microfinance:
1. Savings-led (Community/household based)
2. Credits-led (GrameenBank)
The objectives of Village Phone (VP) are:
• Access to rural communication of Bangladesh
• Introduce a new income generating source for poor
• Bring the potential of the Information Revolution to the doorsteps of villagers;
• Introduce telecommunications as a new weapon against poverty.
• Very good record of repayment of Grameen Bank loans;
• Good business, preferably a village grocery store, and have the spare time
to function as the VP operator.
• Literate or at least she must have children who can read and write;
• Residence should be near the centre of the village.
Village Phone Program is a noble effort by tri
party (GP-GTC-GB) to eliminate poverty by
providing self-employment opportunity
Replicated in a number of countries including
Uganda and Rwanda.
Launched Date: 26 March, 1997, the same day
commercial service of Grameenphone was launched
Currently 530K (approx.) Village Phone
Operators are doing business all over rural
Received 'GSMA in the Community Award' in
Received 'Commonwealth Innovation Award' in 2003
& "Petersburg Prize" awarded by the Gateway
Foundation in 2005.
Village Phone (contd.)
The profit for VPO is the difference between end
customer tariff & operator’s tariff
VP is mainly available at rural areas where
most of the people don’t own personal handset
& connection (65,000 villages)
VP program has created an income-earning
opportunity for the VP operators, mostly poor
women and borrower members of GB, who are
now able to make their opinions count. They are
popularly known as VPO
The Village Phone (VP) initiative has made tremendous
social and economic impact in the rural areas of
Bangladesh, creating a 'substantial consumer surplus'
for the users.
This profit enables them to meet not only basic need
like food, shelter, health etc. but also entertainment
Only GB members can get the VP connection
at very lucrative product & price plan.
How it works..
Selection, Subscription and Training
Billing- GP prepares a monthly bill at the bulk airtime rate for VP for total airtime used by all VPs.GP
sent the bills to GB each month. GTC disburse the bills to all VP operators and collect the bills and pay
back. . This process provides an interesting solution to the problem of revenue collection that
sometimes plagues the operators of rural telephone systems.
After Sales Support- GTC has established Unit Offices to
cover the VP operation in the field.
Purchase & Payment- The basic VP package costs 10,000
Taka, or approx.$140. VP operator pays for the phone through
weekly loan payment installments of 146 Taka or approx $2. These
payments are made through the local GB branch.
Electricity- Widespread access to electricity in rural Bangladesh enables the phone operator to
recharge batteries or power the phone directly from an electrical outlet. Solar power sources are
provided in some Village Phones in non-electrified villages which produces 16-12volt.
Call Charges & Profit- GP charges GT Tk.1 ($.0138) flat rate, whereas urban GP subscribers
pay Tk.up to tk 4($.055)
What they Sell
Air time (incoming/outgoing for
Collect bills (Water/Electricity/Gas)
Net Income: On average, the VPO earns min a net profit of 580 tk per week =$8.05
VPO earns an income of 27,840 tk =$387 per year
GDP per capita $641 (2010 est), GDP growth 5.5% (2010 est.)
Contribution to economy:
Monthly ARPU is BDT 270 = $3.75
Monthly Revenue generating: 135 million
Product Feature Village Phone
(Prepaid with 10% mark up)
Startup Price Taka 149
Startup Freebies - Tk. 50 Preloaded talk time with validity of 30 days
CUG (Community Tariff) 0.75 paisa (VP to VP)
Minimum Bill Amount/Bundle Fee/Line Rent N/A
Pulse On-net/Off-net 1 sec
(12 pm-3.59 pm) (4 pm -11.59 am)
0.99 /min(24 hr)
0.49/min (GP to GP) and 0.65/min (GP to other operator) with 60 sec pulse on
recharge of minimum BDT 300
Recharge Based Bonus
456 Hotline and 4567 port (VP Managers)
121 hotline (VP Subscriber)
10% instant bonus amount on minimum BDT 50 of Recharge (only applicable for
default tariff except 0.49/min cases)
-Prepaid Price Plan
-Make and Receive Calls from any phone (Mobile, PSTN,ISD)
-Electronic and Scratch Card Based Recharge
-Data Service (EDGE P1/P4/P5/P6)
-VP Community Pricing