State cellco and newcomers to benefit from network sharing

9 Sep 2008

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has finalised guidelines which say network operators will share infrastructure with rivals on a non-discriminatory basis, reports local newspaper the Daily Star. Under the guidelines, all operators must post information regarding available infrastructure for sharing on their websites. The BTRC will intervene in any dispute over sharing of resources, including base transceiver stations (BTSs), spectrum, antenna, feeder cable, radio access network, microwave radio equipment, billing platform, switching centres, routers, base station controllers, optical fibre, sites, buildings, shelters, towers, power supply and battery backup, grounding, air conditioning, security arrangement, poles, ducts and trenches. Six mobile and twelve fixed line/fixed-wireless operators are active in the country. UAE-based GSM operator Warid Telecom (Bangladesh), which launched commercially in March 2007, has recently signed an infrastructure sharing agreement with CDMA operator Citycell, whilst the new guidelines will also benefit struggling state-run mobile operator Teletalk. ‘We may go for infrastructure sharing,’ the Star quoted a Teletalk official as saying; ‘the new guideline may give Teletalk some relief from the problems caused by the delay in network expansion, mainly due to financial crisis.’ According to the report, the largest three mobile operators have the following number of BTSs in operation on their GSM networks: GrameenPhone 11,000, Banglalink 5,000 and AKTEL 3,000; GrameenPhone and Banglalink have also rolled out extensive fibre-optic infrastructure.

Bangladesh, Teletalk,

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