BBC Janala


In Bangladesh, English is the second language while Bangla reigns supreme.

For Bangla speaking children, it is no easy feat to pick up the language as many are intimidated by its complexity and the ratio of skilled English teachers to students are almost 1:60 in rural areas. BBC has been using media to teach English skills throughout the world for over 60 years, starting with radio and then moving on to television.


In Bangladesh, the BBC World Service Trust (BBCWST), an international charity project, was created to provide quality and affordable English education to millions of Bangladeshis. They had a wealth of English learning materials but were searching for innovative ways to spread this rich content via an easily accessible, inexpensive platform. The key challenges were to build a platform that could handle immense data volume, maintain highest service level and provide fluid system efficiency. A BBC tender was consequently floated to hear out possible solutions from IT companies.


In a competitive bid for the BBC tender, ssd-tech stood out from the potential suppliers with its cross industry experience, technical expertise and management skills.

SSD-TECH proposed the winning BBC Janala, a successful tele-learning managed service making use of the Internet and fast-growing mobile technology to offer people inexpensive access to English learning materials no matter where they were.

SSD-TECH developed a mLearning System across IVR, SMS and WAP which enables users to learn English using any media. Just by dialing a short code, users would be able to access hundreds of English language audio lessons and quizzes. The content would cater to all levels of English comprehension:

  • Beginners – Essential English
  • Intermediate – Pronunciation
  • Advanced – Vocabulary In the News

Why was ssd-tech the primary choice for BBC’s charitable aim to improve the standards of English in Bangladesh?

  • Its Voice Service Delivery Platform (VSDP) presence across all mobile operators in Bangladesh
  • Quickest service development capability with complex service logic.
  • Comprehensive skill set and diverse clientele
  • Cost efficient project management approach
  • Domain expertise and proven technical capability
  • Comprehensive support services
  • Ability to roll out entire project within given timeline of 7 months


In order to spread the joy of learning English to millions of Bangladeshis everywhere, ssd-tech worked on the following deliverables:

  • Integration of the service in existing Voice Service Delivery Platform (VSDP)
  • Completion of solution architecture and network diagram
  • Customization and configuration of SMS application, WAP CMS and IVR menu tree with agreed service logic
  • Customization and configuration of SMS and WAP reporting and customer care module
  • Site preparation and implementation of the service in operator premises
  • Customized training module with user and maintenance manual
  • Monthly performance report as per Operations & Maintenance SLA
  • Content management system to manage huge data volumes and on-demand, interactive contents including quizzes, competitions, voting, feedback, audio lessons, audio blogging and user-generated contents
  • From development to implementation, the entire course of this project took six months with six mobile operators in Bangladesh. Additional one-month period was taken for three other operators .

SSD-TECH maintained high quality in all the processes for achieving customer satisfaction. From delivery of the final product to the deployment of the application, letting customers know of its usage readiness, testing user acceptance and training of ‘trainers’ to manage the system, ssd-tech’s project manager worked closely with BBCWST’s management team to ensure efficient project delivery throughout.


The BBC Janala Service acquired one million unique subscribers within the first six months of its implementation. It also received the following international awards:


GSMA Award at the 16th Annual Global Mobile Awards. The project, which is part of the English in Action initiative, was selected from over 100 nominees, winning in the category of Best Product, Initiative or Service for Under-served Segments.



Microsoft Education Award at the 2010 Tech Awards in Silicon Valley, California – The project, which is part of the English in Action initiative, beat over 1,000 other nominations to become one of the final five chosen for the award.


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