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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bangladesh Plans 3G Auction by August 2010

Bangladesh's Post and Telecommunications Minister has confirmed that the country will offer 3G licenses by the end of August, although the exact method allocating the licenses is still being worked out by the regulator.
"Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is formulating required guidelines which will set the process for awarding 3G licenses," Minister Razi Uddin Ahmed Raju told the Chinese Xinhua news agency. Although the details are still being worked out, an official confirmed that there would be at least four licenses made available.
The country has been promising to award 3G licenses since 2008, although political issues with the transition of the government was held responsible for most of the delay.
"It is estimated that there are over 6 million mobile internet users and already today 15 percent of the mobile handsets used in Bangladesh market are 3G enabled," Arun Bansal, managing director of the Ericsson Bangladesh said last May.
The country currently has six operators - and according to figures from theMobile World, ended Q1 of this year with just over 55 million mobile subscribers - which is still a population penetration level of around 35%. Also worth noting is that while the country has six operators, only four of them are of any significant scale, Grameenphone (23.9m), Banglalink (14.2m) and Aktel (11.8m) and finally, Warid Telecom (2.9m). The two remaining long term incumbents, Citycell and Teletalk add up to 2.9 million customers between them.

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