With a view to introducing 4G service in the country, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will issue 4G license on February 14 next following holding of spectrum auction for three different bands on February 13, said officials.
BTRC secretary and spokesperson Sarwar Alam on Monday said the commission at a special meeting approved the 4G/LTE Licensing Guidelines and auction roadmap for 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz and 900 MHz spectrum bands.
‘As per the roadmap, BTRC has now invited application from the mobile phone operators to participate in the spectrum auction,’ he added.
Officials said BTRC announced the 4G/LTE Licensing Guidelines and spectrum auction roadmap in less than a week after getting the final nod from prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
State minister for posts and telecommunications Tarana Halim on November 29 revealed the clearance of the Prime Minister, who is also in charge of the ministry of posts, telecommunications and information technology.
According to the spectrum action roadmap, officials said, BTRC decided to receive application from the operators today while the date for submission of application to the commission is January 14.
Submission of the queries (if any) is on December 19 while pre-bid meeting will be held on December 21. On the other hand, BTRC will publish the list of qualified applicants for the auction on January 25 while consultation on auction procedure will take place on January 29, while date for submission of bid earnest money is on February 5, for letter of acceptance/rejection to participate in the bidding is February 7 and mock auction will be held on February 13.
Besides, the telecom regulator will announce the name of winning operators on February 14.
BTRC has also invited application from new entrant (operators) who will obtain technology neutral spectrum for cellular mobile phone services.
However, the new entrant will be eligible to participate in the 2100 MHz spectrum auction subject to their success during primary evaluation of the application.
The winning new entrant in the auction of 2100 MHz band, if any, will be eligible to participate in the auction of 1800 MHz and 900 MHz bands to operate as cellular mobile phone services operators to provide 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE services having respective license.
Earlier on September 20, Tarana Halim made public the 4G/LTE Licensing Guidelines and announced of holding spectrum auction for 4G service in last November keeping room for a new mobile phone operator.
But, the mobile phone operators in the country expressed their concern for a total of 23 issues of the guidelines such as price of spectrum conversion fee, users data preservation etc, and requested the government to reconsider those issues.
Later, prime minister's ICT affairs adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy in a meeting at posts and telecommunications division solved all the issues.
One of the demands of the operators was to cut down the price of spectrum for technological neutrality, which will empower them to deliver better service quality. They asked for it to be slashed to $4 million per megahertz of spectrum from $7.5 million.
In case of the conversion in one go, the charge will be $ 4 million for each 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz, while it will be $ 7.5 million for converting partly, as per the revised decision.
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