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4G mobile spectrum auction today

February 13, 2018 00:00:00

The Bangladesh Teleco-mmunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is set to hold the much-awaited spectrum auction of different bands today (Tuesday) for introducing the 4G/LTE service in the country, reports BSS.

Two mobile network operators (MNOs) are taking part in the auction, although four MNOs applied for vie it.

"Grameenphone and Banglalink are participating in tomorrow's (Tuesday) spectrum auction," BTRC Secretary and Spokesperson Sarwar Alam told the news agency on Monday.

He said Grameenphone has secured its seat only for 1800 MHz and Banglalink for 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz.

The telecom regulator had arranged spectrum auction for 900 MHz, four blocks in 1800 MHz and five blocks in 2100 MHz bands. Each block in the 2100 band contains 5 MHz of spectrum and the four blocks in the 1800 band are: one with 5.6 MHz, two with 5 MHz and another with 2.4 MHz.

In the auction, the BTRC will give away 25 MHz in 2100 MHz band at a floor price of $27 million per MHz. It will also put up for sale 18 MHz in the 1800 MHz band and 3.4 MHz in the 900 MHz band, both starting off with $30 million per MHz. But, now the 900 band will not be auctioned for reluctance of MNOs.

Initially, four operators-Grameenphone, Robi, Banglalink and Citycell-applied and became eligible for the much awaited auction.

But, finally Robi and Citycell refrained from obtaining their seat in the auction not paying the bid earnest money. On the other hand, market leader Grameenphone deposited bid earnest money only for 1800 MHz while Banglalink for 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz. None of them showed interest for 900 MHz.

Banglalink paid Taka 3.0 billion (300 crore) to bid for two bands while Grameenphone paid Taka 1.5 billion (150 crore).

The Citycell, out of service since October 2016, has missed another scope to return to operations. There was a glimmer of hope about its comeback when BTRC announced that Citycell was eligible for 4G licence and spectrum auction.

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