New player in WiMAX
The telecom regulator has decided to hand over a WiMAX licence at a price of Tk 215 crore to the internet service provider that operates under the name of OLLO.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has recently sent the proposal to the telecom ministry for approval.
OLLO's operator, Bangladesh Internet Exchange Ltd (BIEL), now provides fixed WiMAX with its current frequency. Once it gets the 40 megahertz (20 upload+20 download) spectrum in the 2,500-2,600 MHz band, it will get mobility with the service.
The regulator informed the ministry in the proposal that two new WiMAX licences can be provided.
BTRC also said the WiMAX operators in Bangladesh will be able to use long-term evolution (LTE), the latest technology for high-speed wireless data transfer, after taking permission and paying extra charges to the regulator.
WiMAX, short for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, essentially provides high-quality broadband access and has high penetrability, in that the microwaves it emits can be accessed at every nook and corner of its large coverage area.
At present, there are two active WiMAX licence holders, Banglalion Communications and Augere Wireless, both of whom paid Tk 215 crore at the auction held in September 2008.
BIEL applied for the licence in April while another company Mango Teleservices also applied for the licence earlier.
Yulia Aksyutina, managing director of BIEL, would not give details on the latest development regarding the licence.
Mir Masud Kabir, managing director of Mango Teleservices, said, “If the government gives the licence in a business friendly way, he may take the opportunity to go for WiMAX services.”
However, industry insiders said the government takes Tk 215 crore upfront as a licence acquisition fee, and it is tough for the operators to further invest on network development.
“It's time to give away the idle WiMAX licences, as it would not be possible to hold another auction,” Sunil Kanti Bose, chairman of BTRC, had earlier told The Daily Star.
“If any party is willing to pay the amount, sure, they can have the licence,” he added.
BIEL, a subsidiary of Multinet Group, said in its application that it is prepared to pay the sum the other two private bidders paid in the auction.