BTRC to hold 4G auction next year

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:44, Nov 06,2016

 
 

The telecom regulator is planning to hold an auction of 700MHz band spectrum, currently specified for 4G or LTE services, in next year as the guidelines for 4G services will be prepared soon.
Officials of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission said the commission last week agreed in principle on the formulation of 4G guidelines.
They said that mobile phone companies like Grameenphone and Robi were already sending different queries about the 4G service guidelines to the commission.
4G or Long-Term Evaluation is a faster data transfer technology than the existing 3G.
‘We have also plans to hold an auction of the remaining spectrum of 2G or 1800MHz very soon. We might also give technology neutrality for the 2G spectrum band. In that case, the price of 700MHz band spectrum might get cheaper,’ a senior BTRC official told New Age.
He said the commission would come up with a solution to the pricing of the different spectrum to ensure government revenue from national resources like spectrum.
The BTRC could not hold the auction of the remaining 2G and 3G spectrum in last two year due to non-participation of the mobile phone companies.
The commission failed to hold the auction after changing the date thrice as the mobile phone operators said they would not participate in the auction if the government did not settle a Tk 3,000-crore tax claims from the operators.
Asked how much confident the BTRC is about 4G spectrum sales, the official said, ‘The market dynamics has changed recently following the merger of Robi and Airtel. So we expect things to change.’
The telecom regulator also initiated a move to review the 2G service guidelines in a bid to allow technology neutrality for 900MHz and 1800MHz band of spectrum.
Technology neutrality, long demanded by the mobile phone companies, is a permission to use any band of spectrum for any type of telecom services, both voice and data.
The spectrum allocation in the country is service specific as 900MHz and 1800MHz band are assigned only for 2G services and 2100MHz band for 3G services.
The 2100 MHz, however, is also allowed for 4G services but operators are not using that band for 4G services.

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