The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is proceeding with the launch of a 4G mobile spectrum licence auction in three frequency bands ‘by December’ after receiving final clearance for the government-approved auction/licensing guidelines from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who also heads the telecom ministry, earlier this week. The Daily Star quotes Shahjahan Mahmood, chairman of the BTRC, as saying that existing mobile operators will roll out 4G services ‘as soon as they get licences’, hopefully by the end of this year. Under the licensing rollout obligations, operators must deploy 4G LTE services in all divisional headquarters of Bangladesh within nine months of receiving a concession, and should cover all district headquarters within 18 months, expanding to nationwide coverage within three years.
The auction guidelines set a floor bid price of USD30 million per MHz of spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, and USD27 million in the 2100MHz band. Additionally, a USD7.5 million per MHz fee will be levied on operators to convert existing 900MHz and 1800MHz GSM spectrum allocations to technology-neutral for 2G/3G/4G use.