June 26, 2022, 5:52 am

Staff Correspondent

2022-03-31 20:26:03 BdST

Govt earns Tk 10,641cr from BTRC spectrum auction

The government earns Tk 10,641 crore by selling 190MHz spectrum to the country’s four telecom operators at a spectrum auction held on Thursday.  

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) began the auction in hotel Intercontinental Dhaka at 11:00 am while BTRC Chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder was in the chair.

The floor price stood at Tk 65 lakh per MHz and the operators were asked to pay 10 percent of the total purchase price within 60 days of the announcement of the final auction results.

The remaining 90 percent will be paid off in equal instalments over 9 years.

All the four telecom companies in the country -- Grameenphone, Robi, Banglalink, Teletalk -- took part in the auction.

The leading operator Grameenphone purchased 60 MHz spectrum from 2.6GHz bands for about Tk 3,360 crore, Robi acquired 60MHz from 2.6GHz bands for about Tk 3,361 crore and acquired 40MHz from 2.3GMHz bands.

The state-owned telecom operator Teletalk obtained 30MHz from 2.3GHz bands with about Tk 1,680 crore.

Grameenphone (GP) CEO Yasir Azman said GP’s acquisition of the maximum allowable 60 MHz spectrum reflects its strong commitment to creating digital possibilities for people across the country.

“As we roll out the new spectrum, customers will enjoy an improved 4G experience. In collaboration with the government, we will identify relevant 5G use cases for Bangladesh for trials in the coming months,” he added.

Congratulating the BTRC for conducting the spectrum auction, Chief Executive Officer of Banglalink Erik Aas said, “It is an important step for the industry as the availability of more spectrums will result in better internet speed and quality digital services for citizens of Bangladesh.”

“In keeping with our objective - 4G for all, not 5G for a few, we intend to utilise the new spectrum primarily for 4G in next 2-3 years.”

Robi Axiata Ltd Chief Corporate and Regulatory Officer Shahed Alam said, “We are very happy to have secured 60MHz in 2600 MHz spectrum band from the auction. An addition of this spectrum to our network will improve our quality of services significantly and help customers experience better digital services.”

BTRC Engineering and Operations Commissioner Engineer Md Mohiuddin Ahmed, Director of Systems and Services Brig Gen Nasim Parvez, Director General of the Spectrum Division Brig Gen Md Moniruzzaman Jewel, Director Md Sohail Rana and Lt Colonel Md Awal Uddin were present during the auction.

BTRC published the notice for spectrum auction application on March 3, asking the operators to apply within March  15.

The regulatory body instructed all telecom operators to begin test runs within six months after the bid.

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