The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has decided to declare all five applicants eligible for 4G licences, following the evaluation of their respective bids for LTE concessions and spectrum, The Daily Star writes. Md Jahurul Haque, legal and licencing commissioner of the BTRC, was cited as saying: ‘In a country with only five mobile operators, we don’t have too many options to choose from for 4G licence. That’s why we have decided to go easy on the operators while evaluating the applications.’ Earlier this month, the BTRC received five applications for 4G licences, while all four privately-owned operators – GrameenPhone, Robi Axiata, Banglalink and defunct Citycell – will participate in the spectrum auction scheduled for 13 February; state-run Teletalk, meanwhile, has opted to skip the spectrum auction and use its current frequencies for 4G services.
According to the BTRC guidelines, operators must pay an application processing fee of BDT500,000 (USD6,000), a licence fee of BDT100 million and an annual fee of BDT50 million over the 15-year licensing tenure. Operators will, meanwhile, have to pay separately for technological neutrality of their exiting spectrum if they want to offer any service (2G/3G/4G). If any operator opts to make its entire spectrum neutral it will have to pay USD4 million for each MHz, while for partial conversion the charge will be USD7.5 million per MHz.