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14 November, 2017 12:49:22 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 14 November, 2017 08:25:28 AM

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4G service launch delayed

Tareque Moretaza
4G service launch delayed

It may not be possible to roll out the much-awaited 4G service in Bangladesh this year as the related guideline is yet to be finalised due to concerns raised by mobile phone operators over certain issues in it.

“The possible deadline for the launch of the 4G service is yet to be confirmed,” said an official of the Posts and Telecommunications Division.

“Mobile phone operators have raised some issues of concern regarding the 4G guideline. BTRC has made certain changes in the guideline on the instruction of Posts and Telecommunications Division.

It'll be placed before the Prime Minister (PM) again for her approval. We'll go for an auction after its approval by the PM, who is also the minister for posts and telecommunications,” a senior official of the Posts and Telecommunications Division told The Independent

yesterday.

According to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), the regulator will go for auction soon after getting the fresh approval. Mobile phone Subscribers could expect to get the 4G service right from January or February next year.

However, Tarana Halim, state minister for posts and telecommunications, said: “We're trying to roll out the service within December this year.”

The decision to make changes in the guidelines was taken at a meeting in the presence of the Prime Minister’s ICT affairs adviser at the Posts and Telecommunications Division on October 19.

Asked about the changes made, Tarana Halim said: “No major changes have been made. Earlier, telecom operators had raised 24 issues of concern regarding the guideline on the 4G service.”

The spectrum conversion fee was fixed at Tk 7.5 million in the approved guideline for the conversion of 1 megahertz spectrum. It has been revised in the new guideline.

“The conversion fee will be reduced, and the new rate will be fixed after discussions with the operators,” said a senior BTRC official.

According to sources, the conversion fee could be kept between Tk 3 million and Tk 5 million.

The application fee for the 4G licence has been fixed at Tk 5 lakh, while Tk 15 crore has been fixed as the licence acquisition fee and Tk 7.5 crore as the annual fee. The licence acquisition fee has been fixed at Tk 10 crore, while the annual licence renewal fee has been finalised at Tk 5 crore. An operator has to submit a Tk 150-crore bank guarantee for licence.

 The base price of per MHz spectrum in 1,800 band has been fixed at $30 million; the base price has been $27 million for per MHz of 900 band from the proposed $10 million.

EA

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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