December 8, 2021, 6:13 am

Staff Correspondent

2021-09-29 08:06:39 BdST

BTRC to auction unused spectrum by Dec

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will arrange an auction by December this year to lease out unused spectrum of two bands to improve the quality of telecommunication services.

The spectrum auction for 2.3 and 2.6 Gigahertz (GHz) band will be held to ensure 100 percent fourth generation (4G) services and introduce fifth-generation (5G) mobile network services.

BTRC Commissioner (Spectrum) AKM Shahiduzzaman said that they have plenty of unused spectrum in different bands and they are planning to go for an auction.

“We are working to invite spectrum auction for 2.3 and 2.6 GHz band in December this year. It is not possible to invite spectrum action at a time, so we will do it in phases. After this auction, we will arrange an auction for 3.5 GHz band,” he said.

“After selection of specific band, we have already held a preparatory meeting with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). Work is underway to divide the spectrum into different blocks,” he said.

Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd, a state-owned mobile operator, has got 60 Megahertz (MHz) 3.5 GHz band spectrum to roll out 5G services.

The government is planning to roll out 5G services through all mobile network operators by the second or third quarter of 2022.

According to sources, 120 MHz of 2.3 GHz band and 90 MHz of 2.6 GHz band are now available for auction while 400MHz spectrum is also available for 3.5 GHz band at BTRC.

The 2.3 and 2.6 GHz band spectrum can be used for 4G and 5G services but 3.5 GHz band spectrum can only be used for 5G services, they said.

According to Time Division Duplex (TVD) system, an operator has to avail at least 20 MHz 3.5GHz band spectrum to launch 5G services. To run smooth 5G services, they must take 30-40GHz 3.5 GHz band spectrum.

Teletalk Managing Director Md Shahab Uddin said BTRC has already allocated 60MHz spectrum for them to launch 5G services in Bangladesh.

“We will try to launch 5G service in the country experimentally by December. But the date is not fixed yet,” he said.

However, sources at BTRC said the regulator has asked Teletalk to launch 5G service by December 16. Even December 12 has been fixed at a meeting of BTRC and Teletalk where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son and her Information and Communication Technology adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy also joined virtually.

The Teletalk managing director also said the equipment has already been manufactured while the shipment would reach the country soon.

“We will then install the equipment to launch 5G service in the country,” he said.

Recently, at a programme, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar said that the government is planning to roll out 5G by end of this year as per its election manifesto.

“We have a plan to introduce 5G mobile network either on December 12 or December 16 this year,” the telecom minister said.

Earlier, Teletalk applied to BTRC seeking 100 MHz frequency wave of 3.5GHz band to run 5G service in Dhaka city.

Later BTRC allocated 60 MHz of 3.5 GHz band to Teletalk.

BTRC is also working to prepare a guideline, spectrum auction and other necessary measures to roll out 5G services by all operators by the second or third quarter of 2022.

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