Bangladeshi operators to bid in 3G auction

Five mobile operators in Bangladesh have applied to participate in the country’s upcoming 3G auction.

Officials at Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi, Airtel and Citycell confirmed to local reporters that they had submitted interest ahead of yesterday’s deadline.

Four licences, for a total of 40MHz 3G spectrum in the 2,100MHz band, will be auctioned on September 8 2013, and a reserve price of $20million per MHz has been set.

Despite attempts to encourage new players to the Bangladeshi market, no new bidders have materialised, and the licence reserved for such an entrant will now be offered to one of the incumbents.

Mobile operators are still discussing outstanding tax and licensing concerns, and will reportedly meet with the telecom minister in the country ahead of the auction to address any issues.

The auction was announced in February this year, and state-run operator Teletalk, which already holds a 3G licence, will be required to match the fee paid by the private networks.