Government eyes Tk 110b in revenue from auction

Graduating to 4G cellular tech

FE Report | Thursday, 21 September 2017

The government plans to raise some Tk 110 billion in non-tax revenue from 4G auctions as Bangladesh graduates to the fourth-generation broadband cellular technology.
Mobile phone subscribers will get the multidimensional information-communication technology by this coming December, journalists were told Wednesday.
"We're estimating that the government will mobilise around Tk 110 billion from 4G auctions, including technology-neutrality fees," State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim said in a press briefing at her secretariat office.
She said the auctions will be completed by November, in the process of introduction of the fourth-generation (4G) technology.
The existing operators and new bidders may join the bidding. Replying to a question, she said one operator [citycell] has already defaulted and different media outlets are hinting that this mobile operator may not participate in the bidding.
"Operators will require some time for making necessary operational arrangements and we expect the subscribers will get the services within December next."
The fourth-generation services which are much popular than 3G ensure the fastest data service for mobile-phone subscribers.
This broadband cellular-network technology's potential and current applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, videoconferencing, and 3D television.
Tarana Halim said state-owned Teletalk will first launch the services in Dhaka and Chittagong. The  base tariffs have been fixed in consultation with the operators.
"There are some corrections in the base fares that we have fixed after meeting with the operators," Mrs Halim said.
Replying to a question related to poor quality of 3G services she said the operators are providing services from limited spectrums that leads to fall in the quality of services.
The state minister said she herself will monitor the 4G services on which the operators had already conducted a test run before them.
Shyam Sunder Sikder, secretary of the posts and telecommunications division, said the government mulls over making guidelines on the quality of services.
Last week, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who also heads the telecoms ministry, approved the 4G guidelines.
According to the guiding principles, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will put 36.4 megahertz of spectrum in three bands up for auction.
Some 25 MHz in 2100 band, 18 MHz in 1800 band and 3.4 MHz in 900 band spectrums will be available at the auction.
The government has set base prices of $27 million per MHz in 2100 band and $30 million per MHz in both 1800 and 900 bands.
Senior officers of BTRC and the ministry were also present at the press conference.

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