BTRC recommends five licences for 3G serviceStaff Correspondent
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission on Wednesday sent to the telecommunication ministry the draft guideline for awarding five licences for 3G mobile service.
Of the five licences, the state-run Teletalk would get one while four other licences would be awarded to four private mobile phone operators, including any new operator, through auction.
The number of mobile phone operators in the country is six and the draft BTRC guideline will allow a new mobile company to enter into the country’s mobile phone sector.
‘We have sent the draft of the 3G mobile service licence guideline to the ministry today. Once we get the approval, we will go for auction for awarding the licences,’ BTRC chairman Zia Ahmed told New Age on Wednesday.
As per the guideline, the commission would hold auction for five licences, each comprising of a 10 megahertz slot.
The charge of spectrum fee of each megahertz has been set at $30 million and the floor price of each licence has been set at $300 million. ‘It means, the mobile operators will have to start their bidding price at $300 million,’ said another BTRC official.
Zia said that they had targeted to hold the bidding on September 3, subject to the approval of the guideline by the ministry.
He said that Teletalk would get one licence while three, out of four other licences, would be awarded to three existing private operators who hold licences for 2G operations.
‘Any new operator that wants to enter the country’s mobile phone sector will be able to vie, along with the existing operators, for the remaining one licence,’ he said.
Zia said that although a licence would be reserved for Teletalk, the company would have to match the bidding price of other operators for other licences to get the licence.
The commission was expecting to collect an approximate revenue of $1,500 million from the 3G licences.
The telecom regulator in the draft has also kept a provision to upgrade the 3G into 4G and long-term evolution without any extra fees.
BTRC officials said the Cellular Mobile Phone Service (3G/4G/LTE) Regulatory Licence Guideline 2012 suggested that the licence holders would be able to upgrade the 3G licences to 4G or LTE without any charge.
Teletalk and five private operators — Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi, Airtel and Citycell — are offering 2G services now.
The 3G technology will make mobile telephony much more efficient, with high-speed data transfer facilitating users to watch mobile TV, make video calls, use navigation equipment and access many other services.
LTE’s data transfer speed is 80 per cent higher than 3G.
Experts say 4G and LTE are same. Their download speed is 100 megabyte per second and upload speed is 50 Mb/S.
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