Five mobile network operators (MNOs) have applied for 4G/LTE license to the telecom regulator while four MNOs applied for participating spectrum auction. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood on Sunday (Jan 14) revealed it at a press conference at BTRC, local media reports said.
The 4G/LTE license seekers are state-owned Teletalk, Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi and Citycell. Apart from the Teletalk all MNOs have submitted applications for taking part in spectrum auction.
The lone CDMA-based mobile operator Citycell has stopped providing service since October last year. As Citycell does not have 3G license, it has to collect license first and purchase spectrum then for 4G/LTE.
In December 2017, BTRC announced the roadmap for 4G/LTE license and spectrum auction. BTRC will hold auction in 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz and 900 MHz bands. Through the auction, the telecom regulator will also provide technology neutrality which the MNOs have been demanding for long.
After the evaluation, BTRC will send recommendation with the list of qualified MNOs to the ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology for issuing 4G/LTE license.
"We hope the MNOs will offer 4G/LTE service by the end of February or middle of March," expected Dr Shahjahan.
According to the roadmap, BTRC will publish the list of qualified applicants for the auction on Jan 25 while consultation on auction procedure will take place on Jan 29, date for submission of bid earnest money is on Feb 5, letter of acceptance/rejection to participate in the bidding is on Feb 7 and mock auction will be held on Feb 13. Besides, the telecom regulator will announce the name of winning operators on Feb 14.