Three firms win WiMAX licences
Thursday, 25 September 2008

Desk Report

Three companies, Bangla Lion Communications, Brac Bdmail Network Ltd and Aguri Wireless Broadband Bangladesh Ltd, have won licences to operate WiMAX or Broadband Wireless Access in Bangladesh, a BTRC official said Wednesday.

The three firms purchased the licences in auction for Tk 215 crore, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission media consultant Abbas Faruk told
The auction started around 11:30 am at the capital's Radisson Hotel and ended around 2:45 pm.
The nine vying for licences were Aguri Wireless Broadband Bangladesh Ltd, Bangla Lion Communications, Bangladesh Internet Exchange Ltd, Brac Bdmail Network Ltd, Clearstream Ranks (Bd) Ltd, Mango Teleservices Ltd, P-1 Consortium, Telestar Communications Ltd and Vtel Bangla.
Bangla Lion Communications began by offering 27.50 percent of the revenue to the government, before the contest heated up.
The three companies that won will run WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) technology that allows wireless data to travel over long distances by various means, from point-to-point links to full mobile cellular type access.
The chief adviser's special assistant MA Malek, in charge of post and telecommunications, told reporters earlier at the auction venue: "I have come here to observe whether the auction is being held transparently."
On ISPs cutting internet fees for subscribers, MA Malek said: "This is the responsibility of BTRC to regulate. The commission did not have full regulatory powers in the past, but it will get them soon."
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, who will issue the three licenses, has estimated that once WiMAX is functional the number of internet users across the country will cross 1 crore.
Sept 11 was the deadline for submission of applications. BTRC, who invited applications in August, said a total 12 bid documents were sold, with nine companies eventually submitting their documents.
Internet service providers had originally asked the government to open up WiMAX licensing to Bangladeshi organisations qualifying on merit.
Mobile operators in Bangladesh and anyone having invested in them were barred from bidding for a BWA license.
The licence acquisition fee, fixed by the BTRC auction, will be supplemented by an annual license fee of Tk 3 crore [BDT 30 million].
According to the licence conditions, the winning companies will set up at least 90 base stations in the first year, and the whole country will have to be brought under WiMAX network within three years.
Foreign investment in the licenced companies should not be more than 60 percent and non resident Bangladeshis are allowed to invest at 70 percent ownership.
The licencees will have to file for initial public offering (IPO) within three years of the issuance of a license, and shall not be allowed to transfer any shares before issuance of the IPO without prior written permission from the commission.

Comments Add New
sahedul Islam Chowdhury  - Chittagong needs priority |2009-04-25 19:36:27
It's good but we want it wil come in Chittagong as soon as possible.
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