The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission on Sunday rescheduled the auction date for awarding 3G licences to September 2 amid pressure from
mobile operators to resolve the pending value-added tax issue.
BTRC officials said the commission also failed to find a consultant for the auction process and that was also delaying the process.
The BTRC earlier rescheduled the 3G auction date to July 31 from June 10 amid pressure from mobile phone companies to resolve the 15-per cent VAT rebate issue for 2G licence renewal.
Four mobile phone operators — Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi and Citycell — repeatedly said that they would not participate in the 3G auction if the VAT rebate on 2G licence renewal was not given.
The matter, however, is pending before the High Court.
GP chairman Sigve Brekke in a letter last month
requested the finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith to resolve the Grameen Bank Commission issue before moving forward with the 3G process.
A high-powered commission, which was formed by the government to deal with the controversies surrounding Grameen Bank, suggested the GP licence should be scraped due to its connection with the bank.
On the other hand, the BTRC is yet to find a local consultant for assisting the 3G auction as the candidates applied failed to meet commission’s criteria.
The regulator earlier tried to appoint foreign auction firm and foreign consultants but scrapped the plan as it found the applicants not satisfying.
The BTRC will award three licences to three out of five mobile companies operating in the country and one to any foreign firm. Another local operator the state-run Teletalk has already got 3G licence by default.
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.
-With New Age input