October 19, 2008

Two holders fail to pay WiMAX license fee in Bangladesh

Two of the three WiMAX licensees have failed to pay the required fees in time, forcing the regulators to extend the deadline by a month. BTRC Sunday cited the global financial crisis as the reason when it announced the extension of the deadline from October 16 to November 15. Brac BDMail Network and M/s BanglaLion Communications will now get this extra time to pay up half the Tk 215 crore fee.

“Considering the global crisis, and taking into account the petitions from the winning bidders, the 10-working day time for depositing half the license fee has been extended to November 15,” BTRC chairman Manzurul Alam told. Losing bidders, however, began complaining.” If we knew such an opportunity would come, many of us would have offered more money for license,” said Syed Masud Kabir, managing director of Mango Teleservices. The guideline, he said, spoke of 10 working days and no scope for an extension. But, he admitted, the commission reserved the right to amend the guideline.

The BTRC chairman disagreed. “This is not right. The entire license fee will have to be deposited in 90 days. If they fail, other companies in line will get the licenses. The global crisis struck immediately after the bidding (on September 24),” he said. The BTRC chief said India too suspended the 3-G licensing process because of the crisis. The other winning company, Augere Wireless Broadband Bangladesh Ltd, was handed the license Sunday by the BTRC chairman following its payment of the required fee in time, a BTRC statement said.


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