Bangladesh looks for more foreign investment in 3G
The Bangladeshi telecoms ministry will shake up 3G auctioning guidelines to allow for more than one new international entrant into the mobile sector.
The move is also designed to give existing companies in the market the chance to gain a 3G licence, with the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) also offering 5MHz slots in the 2100MHz band rather than the 10MHz slots.
Availability in that specific band gives smaller operators the chance to invest in the country commercially, in addition to paving the way for foreign operators which are keen to grow in Bangladesh.
Original guidelines indicated the regulator was to allocate 2x50MHz for five 3G licences, with four reserved for domestic operators, and one for foreign bidders.
One licence is reserved for Teletalk, which is already permitted to launch services.
The auction will now be held for eight slots instead of the previously proposed four and bidders will be allowed to buy two slots if the bands are not acquired in the original bidding phase.
All bidders have reportedly given consent to the plans, and the ministry will issue its finalised 3G guideline next week.
However, due to complications and changes, the auction is not likely to go ahead until post-March.