Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission will hold today spectrum auction in three bands —2100Megahertz, 1800MHz and 900MHz — with only two mobile phone operators— Grameenphone and Banglalink — out of five participating in the auction.
Although second largest mobile phone operator Robi and out-of-operation Citycell had initially expressed their interest to participate in the auction, the operators later decided to refrain from submitting bid earnest money that made the operators ineligible for the auction.
State-run mobile phone operator Teletalk has decided to refrain from participating in the auction.
In the auction, 25 MHz of spectrum in 2100 MHz band, 18 MHz of spectrum in 1800 MHz band and 3.4 MHz in 900 MHz band will be on the floor for the two operators, showed the spectrum auction guidelines.
Five blocks of spectrum in 2100MHz bands, four blocks in 1800MHz and two blocks in 900MHz band will be auctioned among two operators on the occasion.
The floor price for each megahertz spectrum in 2100 MHz was set at $27 million, while the base price of each megahertz spectrum in 1800MHz and 900MHz spectrum bands will be $30 million.
The operators would be allowed to purchase spectrum, if spectrum in any of the three bands remains unsold, within next six months at the price that would be set at the auction.
Meanwhile, the commission on Monday held a mock auction at its office in Dhaka in presence of top officials of Grameenphone and Banglalink. BTRC chairman Shahjahan Mahmood presided over the programme.
At the mock auction, the commission clarified different queries of the mobile phone operators, an official of the commission said.
On December 5 this year, the commission sought proposals from the mobile phone operators after getting approval from prime minister Sheikh Hasina, the then minister for the posts, telecommunications and information technology, on spectrum auction guidelines.
The finalised guidelines addressed all the 23 amendment proposals which were made by the mobile phone operators including provision of taking loan from the local banks instead of brining fresh investments in this regard.
The government also separated tech neutrality issue from the spectrum auction guidelines following pressure from the operators.
At present, leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone has 7.4 MHz spectrum in 900MHz band, 14.6MHz in 1800MHz band and 10MHz in 2100MHz band.
Second largest mobile operator Robi has 9 MHz spectrum in 900HMz band, 17.4 MHz in 1800 MHz and 10MHz in 2100MHz bands.
Banglalink, that became the third mobile phone operator after the merger of
Robi-Airtel, has 5MHz spectrum in 900MHz band, 10MHz in 1800MHz and 5MHz in 2100MHz band.
Teletalk has 5.2MHz spectrum in its possession in 900MHz band, 10MHz in 1800MHz band and 10MHz in 2100MHz band. Citycell has 8.82 MHz CDMA spectrum in 800MHz for inside Dhaka Central Zone and 6.3MHz for rest of the country.
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