The two Bangladeshi ISPs jointly operating wireless broadband services under the ‘Ollo’ brand – New Generation Graphics Ltd and Bangladesh Internet Exchange Ltd (BIEL) – have received regulatory permission to merge and form a new company, the Daily Star reports. The duo aim to use their combined 44MHz spectrum block to operate 4G LTE services (currently in a pilot phase) alongside their legacy fixed-wireless broadband services; New Generation Graphics has 10MHz in the 800MHz band and 7MHz in the 3500MHz band, while BIEL has 20MHz in the 2400MHz band plus 7MHz of 3500MHz spectrum. Yulia Aksyutina, managing director of BIEL, stated that the merger was important to ‘be able to provide services at the most competitive prices,’ adding that: ‘We will definitely support all our existing clients as well as provide clear growth path for them to switch to our newly developed LTE network which will be launched soon.’ A merger of the two companies including their spectrum resources is legal, although companies are not allowed to sell their allocated bandwidth, according to a legal consultant of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC). The regulator will examine the present market condition before allowing Ollo to provide LTE services, so that a level-playing field is ensured, said BTRC chairman Sunil Kanti Bose, who had earlier clarified that Ollo will not be allowed to directly offer voice services over its LTE network (although IP voice applications will be usable over its mobile broadband connections via Wi-Fi/smartphones). Ollo – which recently became a member of the GSMA global mobile operator association – may launch its new LTE network under a new brand name.
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