Telenor unhappy over BTRC snub

HM Murtuza | Updated at 11:14pm on August 14, 2018

Norwegian multinational telecommunications entity Telenor Group has expressed its dissatisfaction to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission 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 but a BTRC evaluation committee put the consortium on seventh out of eight applicants.
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 on August 10 sent a letter, issued by its EVP Ruza Sabanovic, to acting BTRC chairman Md Jahurul Haque seeking information on why the application of the consortium was not successful in obtaining tower sharing company licence.
Although the Bangladesh’s telecom regulator is yet to make the names of the successful applicants public officially, the commission has already forwarded the names to the posts and telecommunications ministry for approval.
As per the BTRC’s proposal to the telecom ministry, edotco Bangladesh Company Limited, an associate company of Axiata Group’s edotco Group, TASC Summit Towers Limited, ISON Tower Bangladesh Private Limited (renamed as Kirtonkhola Tower Bangladesh Limited), and AB Hightech
Consortium are the entities which received highest marks from the evaluation committee.
Telenor issued the letter following a media report that the BTRC at a special commission meeting held on August 5 endorsed a report of the 15-member committee formed to evaluate the applications for awarding tower sharing business licences.
In the letter, Telenor requested for a debriefing opportunity with the relevant members of the evaluation committee or BTRC officials to learn the reasoning behind the scores that were given to their application.
‘Given the leading industry of our consortium members, the news came as a great disappointment. We would therefore be grateful to obtain additional information on why our application was not successful,’ it said.
‘A debrief sharing the grounds for non-selection is an integral part of a transparent licensing scheme, and we trust that your office would be amenable to an opportunity for a constructive dialogue,’ the Telenor letter said.
The consortium encompasses global industry leaders with keeping expertise in South Asia, the letter said.
Telenor letter also said, ‘Our experience spans over twenty years of developing and operating over 2,00,000 mobile tower sites across different countries in four continents including Bangladesh and neighbouring India.’