May 22, 2009

WiMAX, IGW license likely to open again in Bangladesh !!!

The license for IGW and WiMAX will be awarded after reviewing International Long Distance Telecommunication Policy, the telecoms regulator said. "We are reviewing the policy to open the license to WiMAX and International Gateway. It will take two to three months to finish," BTRC chairman Zia Ahmed told a workshop. "Anyone can take license for operating WiMAX and IGWs as there is huge demand in the market," Ahmed told reporters.

Reve Systems organized the workshop titled 'Technology Trends in IP Telephony'. State minister for ICT Yafes Osman said: "We want to offer service. We believe in public-private partnership. We are not here for policing."

During the 2007-2008 caretaker government's regime BTRC licensed four companies to run IGW operations, who are to pay 62.5 percent of the revenue. It also nominated three companies for providing WiMAX license in exchange for Tk 215 crore each. Two companies have so far paid for license.

I have a strong feeling that our regulatory commission will get award (if any) in near future for becoming the highest license granter in the world. It likes to award more and more licenses to new companies by creating new sectors. Already we have quite a large number of ISPs in Bangladesh. State owned BTCL has plan for WiMAX and 3G along with already licensed other private operators. Don’t you think, they are enough to cover a small country like Bangladesh? When Banglalink and Aktel, two mobile operators, are thinking of merging together to reduce losses in a heavily saturated market, BTRC is still planning to award more licenses.

I think, now, it is their time to be rewarded.


Anonymous said...

pardon my understanding.Could you plz clarify are BTRC welcoming new WIMAX companies to this saturated market?

Experience form overseas (Africa and Australia) clearly show that WIMAX has very tough luck competing with 3G/HSPA providers with 256k/512k/1m/2m bps speeds. How immatured is it to say

"We want to offer service. We believe in public-private partnership. We are not here for policing."

God damn it. Who they hell suppose to look after and maintain the 'level playing field' then? Whats wrong with the other WLL wireless landline providers? Without proper planning why so many licences are distributed? Are they nuts?

I've heard BanglaLion is gonna share some resources with Telebarta, even after that they will face tough competition from GP as soon as GP implement HSPA network. Cant think of other 2 WIMAX providers!

And about new ADSL service, one of my friend applied for that and BTCL said they cant provide it to his home as he is in Nawabpur, which is within 2 KM radius of his telephone exchange! What a ROADSHOW, what a service! Heard BTCL is getting 2000 crore soon to invest on resources, it will all go in vain, well if they dont marge with some private company like warid/citycell.

We still see several pdf files on their ADSL page !!

Hamidur said...

>>pardon my understanding.Could you plz clarify are BTRC welcoming new WIMAX companies to this saturated market?
Yes, they are going to ask for more companies to apply for new WiMAX and IGW licenses according to several news agency.

amar11372 said...

The part about Wimax was probably a mistake. There isn't any WiMax spectrum available anymore because it has already been sold. There can only be new IGW, ICX, and IIG operators.

Hamidur said...

Actually you never know. Contiguous 30 MHz of unpaired spectrum from 2.3 GHz and 2.5 GHz is allocated to Three license holder (currently there are two, as the third bidder failed to pay the license fee, not sure BTRC already awarded that licnse to somebody else or not). And BTRC kept 2615-2620 MHz as guard block between TDD and future FDD assignment. At the same time, BTRC can take back the spectrum in 2.3 GHz and 2.5 GHz which are already allocated to providers other than the currently licensed WiMAX providers.

So I can only hope :-), BTRC somehow will manage to provide more WiMAX licences.

amar11372 said...

I am all for more competition but, If BTRC provides more WiMax licenses, how will that be fair to current WiMax operators who paid 330 crore taka? I am guessing BTRC will have to return some of the money to them but than the revenue Board will not like it.

Hamidur said...

To Amar....

Just a little correction in your comment. BangaLion as well as Augere paid 215 crore Taka for license fee for WiMAX license not 330 crore. So far I know, BTRC gradually asked fourth, fifth and so on bidders when Brac BD mail failed to pay the license fee for same amount. But nobody came forward. So if BTRC wants to distribute new licenses, it can be provided in same price tag.

I also heard that BTRC's new resolution is to have atleast six operators in each sector so that no one can play monoploy. Ok.. I agree that competition is good, but we also need to think that Bangladesh is a small country where majority of the population can't even put their signature. And also proverty is there. So it will be impossible for so many companies to be profitable.

We have to keep in mind that more or less all of them will be in same business i.e Broadband.

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