Bangladesh concludes $525m 3G auction

Dylan Bushell-Embling
09 Sep 2013

Bangladesh's telecom regulator BTRC has finally concluded a long-awaited 3G auction, raising 40.81 billion taka ($525.2 million).

The regulator has allocated 25 MHz of spectrum to four operators, the Financial Expressreported. Grameenphone secured 10 MHz of 1.9-GHz of spectrum, while Robi, Airtel Bangladesh and Banglalink each secured 5 MHz apiece.

The operators will pay a price of $21 million per MHz of spectrum, and this will set the price that state-owned Teletalk will now pay for the 10 MHz block it has arranged to acquire.

But the auction was not as successful as the BTRC had hoped, with 15 MHz of spectrum left unsold. The regulator has said the government will decide at a later date what to do with the unsold spectrum.

Winning bidders will now have to pay 60% of the spectrum price within a month, and the remainder in the next 180 days.

The BTRC last month cleared five mobile operators to take part in the auction – Citycell had applied but did not end up with spectrum.

The regulator had been hopeful of attracting a new international entrant into the market, but none tipped their hat into the ring.

Grameenphone has separately announced a plan to share 5% of its profit from the last three years with its staff as part of a statutory order, Dhaka Tribune reported.

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