Friday, April 19, 2024

3G mobile service licence auction on June 24

BTRC invites applications for four licences
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission will hold an auction for awarding four 3G mobile service licences on June 24 as the commission on Thursday invited applications from mobile phone operators of home and abroad to participate in the bidding.
The BTRC will award three licences to three out of five mobile companies operating in the country and one to others.
Another local operator the state-run Teletalk has already got 3G licence by default.
The commission at a meeting on Thursday finalised the roadmap for holding the auction as per the 3G guideline which was approved by the telecommunication ministry on Tuesday.
‘The auction will be held on June 24 and a pre-bid meeting with the operators will be held on May 14,’ BTRC chairman Sunil Kanti Bose told New Age on Thursday.
Under the 3G guideline, 3G Cellular Mobile Phone Services Regulatory and Licensing Guideline 2013, a total 40 MHz of spectrum will be auctioned for eight blocks where a single bidder can bid for maximum two blocks.
The minimum allocation for a spectrum block is 5 MHz with base price of $20 million for each MHz.
The validity period for a 3G licence will be 15 years.
If any block remains unsold, the winners at the bid can apply for the block within 30 days from the auction completion date.
But, no operator will be allowed to get more than three blocks under the new guideline.
Interested firms have been asked to submit their applications within May 12 with a Tk 5,000 pay order and another Tk 5 lakh as application processing fees.
The applicants must have to submit their latest income tax statements, registration certificates and trade licences.
The BTRC said eligible Bangladeshi entities, joint venture companies or 100 per cent foreign entities could apply for participating in the auction for obtaining the 3G licence.
The Bangladeshi entities and joint venture companies have to be registered with the office of the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms, it said.
In case of overseas companies with 100 per cent foreign investment, the entity having 5 years of experience in the telecom industry and 15 million subscribers would be given priority, it said.
The foreign firms, either fully-owned or joints ventures, have to pay the licence fees, spectrum acquisition fees, equipment purchasing bills and other service bills in foreign currencies as per their ownership percentage in the firm.
The local companies can not raise any loan from any Bangladeshi financial institutions for their foreign partners, it also said.
The licensees will be authorised to provide domestic voice and video calls between and among the operators, international voice and video calls and roaming service, mobile internet and value added services.
The 3G licensees will also be eligible for providing 4G/LTE by using the assigned spectrum blocks for 3G operation.
The licence acquisition fee will be Tk 10 crore and the spectrum fees will be determined under an open auction.
Each of the licence winner have to submit 50 per cent of the total amount of auction price within 60 days after the auction result notification.
The remaining 40 per cent will be payable within 180 days after the auction result.
The government in October allowed state-owned mobile operator Teletalk to launch the 3G service on a trial basis.
Teletalk will get a licence without participating in the auction, while five local private operators —Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi, Airtel and Citycell — and other foreign firms will vie for the licence.
Teletalk will have to pay for its 10 MHz spectrum at the rate the other winners will pay.

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