Dhaka, Thursday, January 18, 2018

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4G application submission tomorrow

DHAKA, Jan 13, 2018 (BSS) - The application submission date of spectrum auction for 4G service is tomorrow but the mobile network operators (MNOs) is still bargaining for reducing price.

As business case is related here so some issues are required to be reconsidered, said the MNOs.

Talking to BSS, Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) Secretary General T I M Nurul Kabir today said the MNOs are discussing some issues individually with the telecom regulators.

"As business case is involved here that is why they (MNOs) are reviewing the guidelines and discussing on some queries," he added.

Replying to a query regarding the submission of application tomorrow, Kabir said he is optimistic but "everything would be cleared tomorrow".

In the first week of last December, BTRC announced the 4G/LTE Licensing Guidelines and spectrum auction roadmap in less than a week after getting the final nod from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

According to the spectrum action roadmap, officials said BTRC invited application from the MNOs on December 4 while the date for submission of application to the commission is January 14.

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 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.

Earlier, on September 20 last year, the then state minister for posts and telecommunications Tarana Halim made public the 4G/LTE Licensing Guidelines and announced holding of spectrum auction for 4G service in last November keeping room for a new mobile phone operator.

But, the mobile phone operators in the country expressed their concern for a total of 23 issues of the guidelines such as price of spectrum conversion fee, users data preservation, and requested the government to reconsider those issues.

Later, Prime Minister's ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy in a meeting at posts and telecommunications division solved all the issues.

One of the demands of the operators was to cut down the price of spectrum for technological neutrality, which will empower them to deliver better service quality. They asked for it to be slashed to $4 million per megahertz of spectrum from $7.5 million.

In case of 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, as per the revised decision.