Spectrum auction guidelines approved by PM; GrameenPhone excluded from 1800MHz bid

25 Feb 2015

The auction conditions for the sale of additional mobile frequencies in the 2100MHz and 1800MHz bands have been approved with no significant changes by Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina following their submission by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) in December. The deadline for submitting applications is 26 February, ahead of an auction scheduled for 30 April. As reported by Mobile World Live, the regulator’s guidelines prevent the country’s cellular market leader GrameenPhone from participating in the 4G-suitable 1800MHz licence auction under a rule banning operators with 20MHz or more in the 900MHz/1800MHz bands from competing in the first round. In the event of the 1800MHz spectrum being unsold in the first round – which appears unlikely – GrameenPhone may place a second round bid. The BTRC expects the auction to generate around BDT50 billion (USD630 million). GrameenPhone has said it may challenge the auction guidelines in court.

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