Bangladesh raises USD1.7bn from LTE frequency tender

15 Feb 2018

The Bangladeshi government has raised a total of BDT52.89 billion (USD1.68 billion) from its 4G spectrum auction, far below the expected BDT110 billion figure, with less than 30% of the 46.4MHz of spectrum put up for sale bought in the tender, The Daily Star writes. Shahjahan Mahmood, chairman of the BTRC, said the regulator was ‘not happy’ with the results of the auction, adding that the operators will have another opportunity to acquire spectrum at the same price within the next six months.

Market leader GrameenPhone will pay USD408 billion for 5MHz in the 1800MHz band, in addition to a fee to convert its current holdings in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands so as to make it technology neutral. Banglalink was awarded 2×5.6MHz in the 1800MHz band and 5MHz of paired spectrum in the 2100MHz band for a total fee of USD308.6 million (excluding VAT), while it will pay a further USD35 million to convert its existing spectrum holding in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands to technology neutral and USD1.2 million to acquire an LTE licence. Robi Axiata, which did not secure new airwaves, applied for tech neutrality for its entire 2G spectrum holding in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, and will pay fees of USD40 million for the concession upgrade. Citycell also qualified to participate in the auction but did not acquire any spectrum rights.