Three Dhaka fixed line licences awarded

28 Aug 2007

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has accepted applications from three regional fixed line network operators to convert their licences to nationwide concessions, including the central telecoms zone incorporating the capital, Dhaka. Officials said the regulator last Wednesday issued licence acquisition letters to the WiLL operators – RanksTel, Dhaka Phone and Square Informatrix – asking them to deposit the required licence fee within 15 days of the issuance of the letter. The licensing of a competitor to incumbent Bangladesh Telegraph & Telephone Board (BTTB) in Dhaka has been delayed for several years because of a court case surrounding previous licensee WorldTel, which failed to launch services. On 4 July the BTRC commission invited applications from existing zonal PSTN service providers willing to operate nationwide, and six companies applied. The central zone comprises metropolitan Dhaka, Narayanganj municipality, Gazipur, Tongi, Savar, and Jinjira, and is estimated to account for 60% of the country’s total telecoms demand. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Dhaka Telephone (Dhaka Phone) is currently licensed for the North East (NE), South East (SE), North West (NW) and South West (SW) zones, and launched 800MHz CDMA WiLL services in July 2006 over network equipment supplied by China’s Huawei; Ranks Telecom (RanksTel), also licensed for the NE, SE, NW and SW zones, launched its 800MHz WiLL network earlier, in September 2005, using technology supplied by Huawei and fellow Chinese vendor ZTE; Square Informatrix was originally licensed for the SE zone.

Bangladesh, RanksTel,

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