The Bangladeshi government announced that it will hold a 3G spectrum licence auction early next year and expects customers to be able to use 3G services by the middle of 2013, The Daily Star reported online. The 3G auction guidelines will be finalised by December after consultation with stakeholders, the auction should be held in January or February of next year, said Sunil Kanti Bose, secretary at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.
Bose said this after the first consultation meeting was held on 11 October by the telecommunication ministry, in the presence of a Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) official, for the four private mobile operators. At the meeting, the operators asked the ministry to reduce the starting price for the auction from the proposed USD 30 million per 1 MHz of the spectrum. Bose said the ministry is consulting with the Finance Ministry in this regard. He also said the price will be finalised after taking into consideration neighbouring countries' experiences and Bangladesh's socio-economic situation.
The draft guidelines say the auction will involve 10 MHz spectrum from the 2,100 MHz frequency band, but the operators would like to purchase 5 MHz of the spectrum to save costs. Given the exponential rise in demand for data and the fact that Bangladesh is a populous country, 5 MHz spectrum bands would yield poor quality of service, according to Bose. A total of five 3G licences are available, of which three have been assigned for the current private operators, one for state-owned Teletalk, and one for a new entrant
Source: Telecom Paper.