BTTB to kiss assets goodbye

25 Feb 2008

Government-owned telco Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) and its mobile subsidiary Teletalk are likely to sign an agreement next month to transfer all of Teletalk’s assets from the former fixed line monopoly to the GSM unit, reports Independent Bangladesh. Despite being registered as a public limited company, a dispute over defining the actual assets and liabilities of Teletalk – which uses BTTB’s infrastructure to support its network – has meant that BTTB has retained ownership. ‘We are hoping to sign the vendor agreement in March after completing all the formalities by the end of this month,’ said a Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications official. The ministry also stated that the agreement would allow Teletalk to seek financing independently for its USD80 million expansion plan, as it aims to boost GSM subscribers to around 1.8 million by the end of 2008. Teletalk, which launched services at the end of 2004, is struggling to expand network capacity because of funding constraints. It has so far invested around USD120 million in building its infrastructure. Its number of subscribers rose from 400,000 at the start of 2007 to a million at end-September.

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