3G auction on Jun 24

The telecoms regulator will hold the auction on June 24 to award 3G mobile-phone service spectrum.

Chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Sunil Kanti Bose told bdnews24.com that the decision was made at a meeting of the Commission on Thursday.

Newspapers advertisements would appear on Friday, he said adding that the procedures for the auction was finalised in the meeting.

Companies can collect copies of the licensing guideline from the BTRC office and submit their opinions on it by Feb 28.

The chief of the telecom watchdog said they would hold a pre-bid meeting with the interested parties on Mar 24.

The interested companies will have to submit applications by May 12 and the names of the operators eligible for the pre-qualification bidding would be announced on May 20 after scrutiny, he said.

The eligible operators will need to deposit $ 20 million each as earnest money by May 30 to be in the auction.

Bose said the list of the companies eligible for the final auction will be out in June 5 and the bidding of 3G cellular phone services would take place on June 24 following completion of all the procedure.

The Ministry of Post and Telecommunication on Feb 12 sent the final 3G guideline to the regulator to open the mobile broadband technology through auction to the private cellular phone operators.

According to the 3G guideline, one foreign-owned carrier would get 3G licence, as the regulator decided to rearrange the slot for spectrum assignment of the mobile broadband technology.

According to the final guideline, the floor price of per Megahertz spectrum is $20 million. The Ministry of Finance finalised the spectrum price trimming it down from $ 30 million.

The guideline says 60 percent of the total price of spectrum has to be paid in the first instalment within two months and the rest 40 percent by six months in the second instalment.

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 be enjoying the 3G spectrum outside of the auction. It will get the licence by paying the lowest bidding money.

Teletalk’s launch of the 3G services has opened up a new horizon in Bangladesh’s telecom sector.

3G comes after GPRS and EDGE. 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.bdnews24.com

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