All MNOs qualify for 4G/LTE license

Kalerkantho Online   

23 January, 2018 18:52 PM

All MNOs qualify for 4G/LTE license

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All five mobile network operators (MNOs) have qualified for 4G/LTE license after meeting the criteria of the telecom regulator towards offering faster internet service in March.

The four MNOs have also been eligible to take part in the upcoming spectrum auction, said officials.

As per the spectrum auction and 4G/LTE license roadmap, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will announce the names of qualified MNOs on January 25.

Talking to BSS, BTRC Secretary and spokesperson Sarwar Alam today said the MNOs, who applied for 4G/LTE license and participated in the spectrum auction, have fulfilled the required criteria. 

On January 14, state-owned Teletalk and Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi and Citycell applied for 4G/LTE license while four MNOs except Teletalk submitted applications for participating in the spectrum auction.

BTRC constituted two separate committees to evaluate the 4G/LTE license and spectrum applications. They submitted reports today, said, officials. 

Country's first and the lone CDMA-based mobile phone operator Citycell which stopped providing service since October last year also applied for 4G/LTE license. As Citycell does not have 3G license, it has to collect license first and purchase spectrum then for 4G/LTE. 

On December 4 last year, BTRC announced the roadmap for 4G/LTE license and spectrum auction. BTRC will hold an auction in 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz and 900 MHz bands. Through the auction, the telecom regulator will also provide technology neutrality which the MNOs have been demanding for long.

BTRC Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood earlier said they will send recommendations with the list of qualified MNOs to the ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology for issuing 4G/LTE license. 

According to the roadmap, BTRC will publish the list of qualified applicants for the auction on January 25 while consultation on auction procedure will take place on January 29, date for submission of bid earnest money is on February 5, letter of acceptance/rejection to participate in the bidding is on February 7 and mock auction will be held on February 13.

Besides, the telecom regulator will announce the name of winning operators on February 14. 

The bid earnest money for 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz and 900 MHz has been fixed at Taka 1,500 million. Besides, the base price for auction of 2100 MHz is $ 27 million, 1800 MHz is $ 30 million and 900 MHz is $ 30 million.

On the other hand, for the technology neutrality, the conversion in one go, the charge will be $ 4 million for each 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz, while it will be $ 7.5 million for converting partly.