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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Three WiMax Licences End Of September In Bangladesh

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) said it will award three WiMax licences by the end of next month in a bid to revive the country's internet broadband market.

WiMAX is a wireless digital communications system, which can provide broadband wireless access across 30 miles for fixed phone, and 3 - 10 miles for mobile stations.

The telecom regulator already asked for proposal from the interested companies to take part in the coming auction.

The commission said it will allocate 30MHz (megahertz) spectrum to each WiMax operators to provide high-speed broadband services.

"We are now working for conducting WiMax auction, due in September," said a high official of BTRC.

Citing an example, he said India is planning to hold 3G auctions within a very short time. Asked when 3G, another high-speed broadband access, will be introduced in Bangladesh, he said procedure for 3G licences already started and it might come to the market by the end of this year.

Like WiMax, the BTRC also plans to award three 3G licences for the 45million telephone users market.

According to BTRC plan, maximum 60 of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) or foreign partnership or investment from NRBs (Non-Resident Bangladeshis) with local entrepreneur licencees (excluding licenced cellular mobile operators from the commission) is eligible for WiMax bid.

Talking to The Daily Star, M A Salam, president of Internet Service Provider Association Bangladesh (ISPAB), said, "Bangladesh is also an emerging market for WiMAX (World Wide Interpretability for Microwave Access) technology".

He said WiMAX is a dynamic solution to establishing long-haul data communication link to distant areas and by this technology people can get e-heath, e-education and e-business related services sitting in the remote areas.

Meanwhile, the 3G licences are likely to be awarded to the three existing mobile phone operators out of the six.

The top three mobile operators--Grameen, Banglalink and AKTEL-- already said they may go for 3G as it costs less to introduce.

BTRC officials said they want a competitive bid for both WiMax and 3G. They said already some renowned multinational companies visited BTRC and showed their interest to take part in the WiMax bid.

According to industry people, only 10 lakh people of the country with a population of 15 crore now have internet connections.

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