Bangladesh approves 3G bidders

Dylan Bushell-Embling
20 Aug 2013

Bangladesh telecom regulator BTRC has cleared all five private mobile operators to take part in next month's 3G auction. But some important details of the process are yet to be finalized.

Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi, Airtel Bangladesh and Citycell have all applied and been declared eligible to participate in the auction, the Financial Expressreported.

State-owned TeleTalk has also applied for 3G spectrum. The company will not take part in the auction, but will instead match the prices bid by private operators.

The auction is scheduled for September 8. But key details including the number of licenses to be awarded have not yet been worked out.

The BTRC had originally planned to allocate five 3G licenses in total, reserving one of these for allocation to any new international entrants interested. But no new players applied to take part in the auction.

With no newcomers, this would mean allocating the five licenses among the six operators, including TeleTalk. But Dhaka Tribunereports that the regulator has stated it may consider granting more licenses if there is unsold spectrum.

The BTRC plans to finalize the auction terms next week, including whether to consider the auction participants' plea to halve the auction call value to $500,000, the Tribune said.

The BTRC is allocating 40 MHz of spectrum divided into eight 5 MHz blocks. The reserve price is $20 million.

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