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Firms pay fees for four tower sharing licences

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:05, Sep 24,2018

 
 

Four tower sharing companies selected by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission for awarding licences have deposited Tk 25 crore each in licence fees.
The entities also deposited value-added tax at the rate of 15 per cent applicable on the licence fee to the telecom regulator, a senior BTRC official told New Age on Sunday.
Edotco Bangladesh Company Limited, TASC Summit Towers Limited, ISON Tower Bangladesh Private Limited (renamed as Kirtonkhola Tower Bangladesh Limited), and AB Hightech Consortium deposited the money after getting notification of award from BTRC.
BTRC awarded the notifications to the entities on August 16 this year after getting approval from the posts, telecommunications and information technology minister.
Submission of licence fees is a development in awarding licences to the bid winning entities, the BTRC official said.
He said that the commission would award licences after the submission of documents by the bid winning entities, in line with the licensing guidelines.
Awarding licences also depends on proper submission of documents by the bid winners, the official said.
Apart from these, each of the tower sharing companies will have to submit Tk 20 crore in performance bank guarantee to the telecom regulator.
Annual licence fees for the tower sharing licences have been set at Tk 5 crore and submission of 1 per cent of the entities’ revenue to telecom social obligation fund has also been made mandatory from the second year of operation of the entities.
The tenure of the licence would be 15 years initially that would be extended gradually by five years.
As part of the documentation procedure prescribed in the tower sharing licensing guidelines, mobile phone operator Robi Axiata Limited has transferred from its possession 20 per cent of shares of Edotco Bangladesh to Edotco Group.
With the acquisition, Edotco Group’s shareholding in Edotco Bangladesh has increased to 70 per cent from 50 per cent.
Eight companies had applied to the commission but the four companies got highest marks from a 15-member evaluation committee formed by BTRC to secure the licences.
Meanwhile, Norwegian multinational telecommunications entity Telenor Group on August 10 expressed its dissatisfaction to the telecom regulator for not being one of the four companies picked by the telecom regulator for tower sharing company licences.
BD Tower Business Co Consortium, in which Telenor Norway and Peak Tower Holding Co Pte Ltd, two sister concerns of Telenor Group, are partners, applied
for the tower sharing business licence in Bangladesh.
The consortium also includes Transcend Infrastructure Holdings Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of American Tower Corporation, and Grameen Byabosa Bikash, a sister concern of Grameen Bank.
Telenor Group also sought information on why the application of the consortium was not successful in obtaining tower sharing company licence.
The telecom regulator, however, refrained from replying to the Telenor Group letter.
Apart from BD Tower Business Co Consortium, Jamuna Tower Limited, FTA Bangladesh Limited and Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited were the other unsuccessful applicants. 

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