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Dhaka Tribune

3G spectrum auction on July 31

Update : 07 May 2013, 03:04 AM

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) yesterday rescheduled the auction for 3G mobile phone spectrums - it will now be held on 31 July this year.

The date has been deferred from June 24 at a meeting of the commission as it could not appoint consultant yet for managing the auction.

“We could not appoint the consultant for conducting the 3G auction management. This is the main cause for changing the auction schedule,” BTRC Chairman Sunil Kanti Bose told the Dhaka Tribune. “I had talks with the stakeholders earlier. As they’ve no objection, we did it.”

A BTRC commissioner, requesting anonymity, said: “Some other unresolved issues like VAT and SIM tax between the government and the operators remain pending.”

Mahmud Hossain, chief corporate affairs officer of Grameenphone welcomed the decision as lots of issues remained pending for further discussion.

The commission meeting shifted the date for submission of applications by the interested operators to June 12, publishing the names of eligible firms to June 20, depositing the earnest money of US$20m to July 4.

A discussion on the auction procedure would be arranged on June 24.

Earlier, BTRC had first declared the schedule on February 12 with application submission deadline on April 12, which was extended to April 15. But it could not hire a consultant by then, which forced them to reject all the five previous applications.

The appointment of consultants has not been completed yet.

According to the guidelines, the regulator will award three licenses to the bid winners from among five existing operators and a new one. The state-run operator, Teletalk, has already got the 3G license by default.

The tenure of the 3G license will be 15 years.

The regulator will offer a 5-Megahertz (MHz) slot for spectrum in 2100 band, the floor price of per Mega Hertz spectrum has been fixed at US$20m.

According to the guideline, 60% of the total price of spectrum assignment has to be paid in the first installment within 60 days of auction and the remaining 40% in the second installment by 180 days.

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