News From Telecom World

3 mobile operators get extra spectrum

Posted on: September 30, 2008

Past and present of spectrum allocation

Past and present of spectrum allocation

The telecom regulator yesterday allocated 17.5 MHz additional spectrum to three top mobile operators at a cost of Tk 80 crore per MHz.

The additional spectrum will help relieve the operators from customers’ complaints of call dropping and network congestion.

As per the reorganised spectrum, Grameenphone will have 21.9 MHz along with newly allocated 7.4 MHz. Banglalink and AKTEL’s spectrum will be 17.5 MHz and 17.8 MHz along with new allocation of 5.1 MHz and 5 MHz respectively.

“We have allocated required spectrum to the three mobile operators. I think with the new allocation, the operators will provide better service,” said Maj Gen (retd) Manzurul Alam, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), after a meeting with senior officials of the top three operators.

Spectrum is important in wireless communications where it is mathematically related to the wavelength. It is required as per the growth in customers.

The operators who have long been demanding additional spectrum are Grameenphone, Banglalink and AKTEL, having 90 percent of the total mobile market share.

The cellphone companies will have to make 25 percent down payments of the allocated spectrum costs by next month. The rest of the amount can be paid through instalment within a six-month period.

BTRC will earn Tk 1,400 crore for allocating 17.5 MHz spectrum. It is the first time in Bangladesh that operators are paying for spectrum.

“We agreed with the price. But we urged the regulator to keep the new allocation near our existing spectrum so we can get maximum benefits,” said a high official of an operator, who attended the meeting with BTRC.

Meanwhile, the telecom watchdog defended yesterday its drive against irregularities by different mobile phone operators.

BTRC chief told a press meet that his organisation functioned in a way what it should be to ensure compliance in the industry.

“What we did in the last 18 months is completely ratified by the law of the land. Had we been silent over the illegal practices of mobile phone operators, we would have shown negligence to our duty.” Major General (rtd) Manzurul Alam said.

The BTRC chief also hoped that the next political government would facilitate the regulator to go ahead with its drive against any illegal practices, especially international call termination, or VoIP business by the land and mobile phone operators, which it started after a shake-up in the organisation’s administration. .

The present government made a reshuffle in the BTRC in April 2007, as it came under fire for its silent spectator’s role in curbing irregularities in the functions of cell phone operators.

Source: Daily Star

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