Local business group Getco will acquire 30 per cent stake of Malaysia-based telecommunications infrastructure services company edotco Bangladesh as edotco takes preparation for applying to the telecom regulator for the mobile tower company licence.
Through its subsidiary Greencon Tower Company Limited, Getco will partner with edotco BD to provide next-generation infrastructure to meet the country’s growing connectivity needs, which also includes applying for the recently announced tower sharing licence, said a statement of edotco on Tuesday.
As per the guidelines of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, an entity with interest in taking mobile tower sharing licence must be a joint venture company with a Bangladeshi partner, while the foreign partner/partners will have to limit their shareholding in the entity within 70 per cent.
Mobile operator Robi will have to offload its holding of 20 per cent shares in edotco to comply with the regulatory directives to be eligible for the licence for tower company which will operate mobile towers in the country.
Currently, Malaysia-based Axiata Group holds 80 per cent shares of edotco while Robi, which is also a subsidiary of Axiata Group, holds 20 per cent shares.
Edotco BD currently owns and operates over 9,000 telecom towers in Bangladesh as it operates in the country with government’s no-objection certificate.
On April 1, 2018, the BTRC invited proposals from the competent entities by May 13 to award four tower sharing company licences.
The telecom regulatory body, however, on May 10 extended the deadline by one month at the eleventh hour following requests from two interested bidders.
Edotco officials said that the joint venture of edotco and Getco’s Greencon would now apply for the licence.
Announcing partnership with Getco, chief executive officer of edotco Suresh Sidhu said, ‘Our partnership with Getco is fundamental to enabling transformation within the telecommunication sector. Tower companies are the backbone of telecommunications development as we ensure the right infrastructure is in place.’
‘Edotco’s extensive regional experience in infrastructure deployment and management will definitely accelerate our journey towards a connected nation by 2021. We are confident that our collaborative efforts with edotco will result in millions of citizens being able to reap the benefits of connectivity’ said KM Khaled, group chairman of Getco Group.
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