2.3GHz, 2.5GHz WiMAX auction kicks off

24 Sep 2008

Bangladesh launched a WiMAX broadband wireless licence auction today, with nine companies taking part, reports local new source bdnews24.com. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will issue three concessions for operating wireless data services ranging from point-to-point links to full mobile cellular access. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the watchdog plans to issue three nationwide permits, for the 2.3GHz (two licences) and 2.5GHz (one licence) spectrum bands. Each winner will have to deploy at least 90 base stations in its first year, and achieve national WiMAX network coverage within three years. The nine companies entering the auction were: Aguri Wireless Broadband Bangladesh, Bangla Lion Communications, Bangladesh Internet Exchange, Brac Bdmail Network, Clearstream Ranks (Bd), Mango Teleservices, P-1 Consortium, Telestar Communications and Vtel Bangla. GlobalComms notes that Mango Teleservices won the country’s first private International Internet Gateway (IIG) licence in February.

Existing Bangladeshi mobile network operators and their investors were barred from the auction, in which bidders offer a certain percentage of revenues to the government, with the opening bid reported to be 27.5% from Bangla Lion Communications; the annual licence fee is fixed at BDT30 million (USD450,000). The winning licensees will have to file for an initial public offering (IPO) within three years of receiving a concession, and shall not be allowed to transfer any shares before issuance of the IPO without permission from the BTRC. Foreign investment in the licensees should not be more than 60%, whilst non-resident Bangladeshis are allowed to own up to 70% equity in each company.

Bangladesh,

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