Ministry sets $20m as floor price for 3G auction

The telecom ministry has proposed $20 million for per megahertz spectrum as the starting price in the 3G spectrum auction early next year.

State-owned mobile operator Teletalk will get a licence without participating in the auction, while five local private operators along with foreign firms will fight for the rest four licences.

Winners will be able to pay the spectrum charges in two instalments -- the first one at 60 percent and the final one at 40 percent.

Telecom Secretary Sunil Kanti Bose said the proposal on the floor price was sent to the finance ministry recently for its approval.

The telecom ministry yesterday sat with stakeholders, including the mobile operators, for the second time to discuss the 3G (third generation) guideline and the auction process.

Bose said, “We have proposed the amount keeping in mind the spectrum prices for 2G licence renewal.”

The operators would get the opportunity to buy minimum 5 MHz to maximum 15 MHz spectrum to launch the 3G service.

Previously, the telecom regulator proposed the floor price for the auction at $30 million for per MHz and suggested the operators should buy at least 10 MHz spectrum.

“No new entrant will get extra benefit in the auction as the government does not think seven mobile operators are needed in Bangladesh," he said.

“We don't encourage any new entrant,” said the telecom secretary.

If any new entrant wins the auction, it will have to purchase 2G spectrum at the same price the existing local operators bought recently.

In the draft 3G guideline, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission proposed reduced price for 2G spectrum for new entrants.

The government plans to make the 3G service available by the middle of next year.

Teletalk recently launched the 3G service on a trial basis.

News Source: 
The Daily Star