Three mobile carriers – Robi, Banglalink and Teletalk -- want more spectrum allocation to serve their customers better during the shutdown situation, as usage has increased by 30 per cent over normal.
Md. Jahurul Haque, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) today told The Daily Star that he has received an application where, except telecom market leader Grameenphone, three other players have asked for additional spectrum.
In the letter the operators did not mention whether they want it for free or how much spectrum they want in the mentioned three months tenure, said Haque.
"Certainly if they get additional spectrum that will help them to support their customer's growing demand for internet," said the chairman.
He had said earlier that the operators have talked with him about the issue and he personally thinks operators have grounds to receive additional spectrum allocation.
"I can allocate them spectrum in credit and they will have to pay according to the last auction price. We can also offer them payment in installments but we cannot give it to them for free," said Haque.
In February 2018, when 4G services were launched in Bangladesh, BTRC sold spectrum allocation for $30 million per megahertz for 15 years, and operators will have to match that price if they want to get additional spectrum now.
"They can also get it free but for that, approval from finance ministry will be required," Haque added.
Currently there are 9.42 crore active mobile internet connections in the country as of February, and of that about 4.50 crore combined are using internet through the three operators.