Three foreign telecom operators have expressed interest in the auction for 3G mobile phone spectrum. Chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Sunil Kanti Bose told representatives of two Asian and a European operators met BTRC officials earlier this month and expressed their keenness.
“Apart from conveying their interest to take part in the auction, the foreign operators also expressed satisfaction over the state of investment in the telecom sector in Bangladesh,” he said.
The telecom regular has decided to stage the auction on Jun 24.
According to the 3G auction guideline, one foreign company would get 3G licence, as the regulator decided to rearrange the slot for spectrum assignment of the mobile broadband technology.
The BTRC believes allowing more foreign operators to participate in the auction would boost the licence price.
As per the guideline, the licence will be valid for 15 years.
State-owned operator Teletalk, which launched the 3G services on Oct 14 on a trial basis, will enjoy the 3G spectrum outside of the auction. It will get the licence by paying the lowest bid money.
The interested companies will have to submit applications by May 12 and the names of the operators eligible for the pre-qualification bid would be announced on May 20.
The eligible operators will need to deposit $20 million each as earnest money by May 30 to stay in the auction.
The Chairman had said the list of the companies eligible for the final auction would be out on June 5 and the bidding of 3G cellular phone services would take place on June 24 following completion of all procedures.
Teletalk’s launch of the 3G services has opened up a new horizon in Bangladesh's telecom sector.
3G comes after GPRS and EDGE technologies. The advantages of 3G services include faster connectivity, which means one can download information and surf web faster.
It gives uninterrupted video streaming on phones, enables video calls and big MMS, and is conducive for data-intensive applications.