The government will auction a fourth generation (4G) spectrum for mobile phone services within this year, State Minister for Post and Telecommunications Tarana Halim said. The state minister was addressing a press conference at her ministry on Wednesday.
“This bidding will be open to all operators. The state-run operator Teletalk was able to launch 3G services before others. But it won’t be given that privilege this time.”
The 3G spectrum auction was held on September 8, 2013 in which Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi and Airtel participated. Teletalk was permitted to launch 3G services without going through the competitive process.
Post and Telecommunications Division Secretary Md Faizur Rahman Chowdhury said that operators currently having the ‘maximum spectrum’ would not be allowed to join the first bidding. “This is to ensure a competitive environment among the operators,” he said.
Grameenphone has the highest allocation of 32 MHz spectrum. Teletalk has 25.2 MHz, Banglalink and Airtel 20 MHz each, and Robi 19.8 MHz. The Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) initiated a move last year to auction off unused 2G and 3G spectra but dropped the plan amid opposition by mobile phone operators.
When asked if the 4G auction would be held along with those for unused 2G and 3G spectra, the secretary sounded positive. Tarana Halim called the press conference to highlight the Post and Telecommunications Division’s achievements in the past two years, according to bdnews24.com. -Mithun