Teletalk operator’s demand is 5 MHz this time
State-owned mobile phone operator Teletalk has finally decided to participate in the spectrum auction on March 8 to acquire sufficient spectrum and continue running its 4G services.
Earlier, the top three mobile operators - Grameenphone (GP), Robi, and Banglalink’s demand were for 11.8 MHz spectrum.
Grameenphone specifically sought 4.8 MHz spectrum, Robi 2.6 MHz and Banglalink 4.4 MHz from the 1800 MHz.
But the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) officials said that they only have 7.4 MHz from 1800 MHz, and they will allocate the rest of the spectrum from the 2100MHz band in the upcoming auction.
Teletalk operator’s demand is 5 MHz this time. But the state-owned operator will have no problem if it is allocated from the 100 MHz band, said Mohammad Shahabuddin, managing director of Teletalk.
As Teletalk demanded for 5MHz, the combined demand has now increased from 11.8 to 16.8 MHz. However, a mobile carrier can take a maximum of 4.4 MHz spectrum from 1800 MHz band and 10 MHz spectrum from the 2100 MHz band.
Meanwhile, the telecom regulator has set certain conditions for the participants in March 8's auction.
The BTRC sent a letter to the network operators which stated the conditions.
Dhaka Tribune has a copy of the letter, where it said that as the demand for 1800 MHz spectrum exceeded the available balance, certain conditions have been set for the participants.
For example, an operator will not be able to participate in the auction for 2100 MHz band if it does not participate in the auction for 1800MHz band.
The three top network operators declined to reveal in which MHz band they will be participating in.
The participation of all four operators were approved during a BTRC meeting last week, which verified whether the operators met the required criteria to take part in the auction or not, said Brig Gen Md Shahidul Alam, director general of BTRC's spectrum division.
All four operators had applied for spectrum in the 2100 MHz band, and three of them had applied for bidding in the 1800 MHz band, he added.
“We are not participating in the 1800 MHz as it is for 3G services. The country is going forward so we have to be updated and in this regard we applied for 5MHz from the 2100 MHz only as it is for our 4G services,” said Shahabuddin.
As Teletalk is not participating in the 1800 MHz band, it is clear that all other three operators are participating in the both the MHz bands, said a BTRC official.
Currently, Robi has 9 MHz from the 900 MHz band, 17.4 MHz from the 1,800 MHz band and 10 MHz from the 2,100 MHz band.
In contrast, GP has 7.4 MHz from the 900 MHz band, 19.6 MHz from the 1,800 MHz band and 10 MHz from the 2,100 MHz band.
Banglalink has 5 MHz from the 900 MHz band, 15.6 MHz from the 1,800 MHz band and 10 MHZ from the 2,100 MHz band.
Teletalk has 5.2 MHz from 900 MHz band, 10 MHz band from 1,800 MHz band and 10 MHz from 2,100 MHz band.
The auction will begin with Spectrum Block-4. After completing the bidding of spectrum Block-4, following the same process, Block-1, Block-5, Block-2 and then Block-3 will be auctioned.
According to the spectrum auction guidelines, 7.40 MHz spectrum from the 1,800 MHz band will be auctioned in five blocks and 15 MHz spectrum from the 2,100 MHz band will be auctioned in three blocks.
Five blocks from 7.4 MHz for the 1,800 MHz band are 2.2MHz, 2.2MHz, 2.2MHz, 0.4MHz, 0.4MHz and three blocks of 5MHz each from the 2,100 MHz band.