The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission is likely to amend broadband wireless access service guidelines to reduce the annual spectrum fees in a bid to facilitate trouble-ridden WiMAX operators.
Telecom regulator officials said the possible amendment would include payment of spectrum charges considering area factor.
The area factor will allow the operators to pay for the spectrum as per their usage, not the entire holding, the officials said.
‘The spectrum was given for countrywide operation but if any operator doesn’t have such large operation it maybe allowed to pay according to the usage of the spectrum after the amendment,’ a senior BTRC official told New Age on Saturday.
WiMAX operates similar to WiFi, but at higher speed over greater distances and for a greater number of users.
Currently, two WiMAX operators — Qubee and Banglalion — are in operation in the market while another one — Ollo — received the licence but is not in operation.
Industry insiders say rapid expansion of the 3G internet by the mobile phone companies is the main reason for the fall of WiMAX users in the country.
According to the latest BTRC data, the number of active WiMAX internet users came down to 1.12 lakh in June from that of 1.43 lakh in January.
In the same period, the mobile phone operators added 62,000 internet subscribers, raising the subscriber base to 5.96 crore from 5.34 crore.
The number of internet users through ISP and PSTN operators also increased to 35.20 lakh in June from that of 25.94 in January.
The BTRC allowed the WIMAX operators to launch 4G or LTE in a bid to save the industry.
According to the BTRC officials, if the WiMAX operators can do well with the LTE rollout, then there is a chance that they might survive in the market.
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