June 26, 2008

Bangladesh to auction mobile WiMAX

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission today issued its draft guidelines on licenses for Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) Services.Three national licenses of 30 MHz each will be awarded, comprised of two licenses in the 2.3 GHz frequency, and one license in the 2.5 GHz band.The licenses specifically can provide for “high-speed mobile wireless internet access and the subscribers will be allowed to use their equipment as fixed, nomadic or mobile.”

The auction will include rules to exclude such companies that: are owned more than sixty percent by foreign entities, are currently licensed Bangladeshi mobile operators, or are owned by “an insane person.”Guidelines established by the regulator state that the licenses will authorise the development and operation of a network “in conformity with the WiMAX Forum standards and International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and its radio regulations.
“Amongst the short-term roll-out requirements, the regulator notes that within two years of issuing the licenses, the networks must cover fifty percent of Upazilas of Bangladesh, and twenty percent of all villages, as well as all universities, medical and engineering colleges and research institutes in both private and public sector; all ministries, divisions, attached departments, boards, corporations, semi-government and autonomous organizations, commissions, statutory bodies; all public libraries; all higher secondary educational institutes situated at district headquarters; 50% of secondary educational institutes in district headquarters and 25% of secondary educational institutes at Upazila headquarters; and all local government institutions (e.g. City Corporation, Municipality/Pourasava) up to district level.

The regulator has stipulated that “all the BWA licensee(s) shall have to share the same tower with other common infrastructures [and] the licensee(s) will also share the existing infrastructures of the existing licensees.”


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