News From Telecom World

BTRC finalises process for awarding WiMAX licences to highest bidders

Posted on: September 22, 2008

Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has finalised the procedures for awarding WiMAX licences to the highest bidders through auction.

WiMAX, the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a telecommunication technology capable of providing wireless data over long distances in various ways, from point-to-point links to full mobile cellular type access.

Because of the long distance it can cover, faster broadband access, excellent last-mile connectivity and multimedia communication services, WiMAX is a choice for the users worldwide.

BTRC is scheduled to hold the auction on September 24 at a city hotel in presence of the bidders. The six licenced mobile phone operators will not be allowed to apply for this licence. The auction will be for licence acquisition fee and the bidding will start at Tk 250 million. The highest bidders will be considered for the licences and the topmost bidder will have the liberty to choose its preferred bandwidth from the offered spectrum.

So far nine joint venture companies have shown their interests for obtaining WiMAX licence from BTRC. Local firms have gone for joint venture with foreign companies with a binding condition of a maximum of 60 per cent of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment).

The licences will initially be for a term of 15 years. On expiry of the tenure, the licence may be renewed for subsequent terms, each of five years in duration, subject to the approval from the commission and other such conditions, including the payment of fees specified by the commission. The annual licence fee will be Tk 30 million and the licensee will have to submit a bank guarantee equivalent to Tk 150 million in favour of the BTRC within 15 days from the date of issue of the license.

The WiMAX technology is expected to improve and enhance the current internet infrastructure in Bangladesh. All the government and non-government institutions, universities, medical colleges, technological research centres, ministries, educational boards and many other organisations are expected to benefit from WiMAX as it will provide data and telecommunications services, and also a wireless alternative to cable for broadband access.

Once the WiMAX network is fully functional, it is expected to provide a very high-speed broadband internet service to the people. It also expected that WiMAX would be able to bridge the gap of existing digital divide and also urged the regulators to take care so that the business could be full-proof from any sorts of monopoly.

Source: Financial Express

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