June 1, 2008

WiMAX in Bangladesh : License & others issues

Now a day there is a common talking point between wireless professionals in Bangladesh is WiMAX. Everyone in the industry is aware of the technology and its value to the future of the country. But there is a common difference about WiMAX license. In a recent workshop ‘WiMAX in Bangladesh: now and future’ held in Radisson hotel, BTRC chairman Mr. Manzurul Alam stated that commission is likely to invite application for WiMAX license in mid-July. The chairman said they have yet to take decision on the frequency rate for WiMAX technology and possible target group for the license. Now the question is who these target groups are and who will be the one get priority over others and why?

Mobile Phone companies, ISP’s & PSTN are major contenders for WiMAX license. No Doubt, the technology itself is mouth watering stuff for all of them. Wireless professionals must be itching to work on the products and get the experience of the newest and the most advance technology. There is always a chance of monopoly from BTRC site to allocate WiMAX license. May be Mobile phone companies get priority over ISP’s as they are stronger in every aspect. But if it happens, it will be a huge blow for the ISP’s as well as the nation as a whole. Many ISP’s are already testing and deploying WiMAX equipments for long time as there were no guide lines from BTRC earlier for WiMAX. Huge investment has been made and fate of lot of people depends. That’s why; we think there must be some way to collocate both parties. Personally I have some recommendations:

  • Mobile phone companies should be allocated frequencies ranging from 2.3 GHz which will best support their requirement.
  • ISP’s should be allocated frequencies from 2.5/3.5 GHz. Priority should be given to the companies who already have the license in this range and testing/deploying WiMAX equipments.
  • All should import equipments in TDD mode rather than FDD in order to ensure maximum spectrum usefulness.
  • Each provider should be allocated 18-20 MHz so that they can plan their channel size to 3.5 MHz or 5 MHz or higher. This will ensure the maximum possible bandwidth in a particular sector which will reduce the number of sectors in a particular area.
  • License for same frequency range can be provided in predefined cities between different providers. This will help to reduce frequency interference between providers. However nation wide frequency license should also be given with higher price.
  • BTRC has to ensure that no provider other than the licensed ones can import WiMAX or any other products in the above mentioned frequency range.

Finally I think whatever decision BTRC takes regarding WiMAX license should favor all the respective parties so that no one feels dejected. We already lost much of the advantages of submarine cable by delaying the process and we are not in a position to waste our time and resources regarding WiMAX. In order to step forward for the development of the country we must come under the same roof. There is no question that Information technology can change the fate of the nation. Why don’t we start again with WiMAX?


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