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Bangladesh distributes 2.3 GHz and 2.6 GHz bands

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The Bangladeshi regulator BTRC announced on 31 March 2022, the completion of the 5G spectrum auction, reported the national news agency. Frequencies in the 2.3 GHz and 2.6 GHz bands go to four mobile network operators. Total proceeds from the sale of a total of 190 MHz amount to BDT (Bangladeshi Taka) 106.46bn (€1.12bn).

The auction started on 31 March 2022 before noon. The 220 MHz spectrum pool included ten 10 MHz blocks, i.e. 100 MHz, in the 2.3 GHz band, and twelve blocks, i.e. 120 MHz, in the 2.6 GHz band, reported bdnews. The four bidders Grameenphone, Robi, Banglalink and the state-owned operator Teletalk, won a total of 190 MHz. As a result, 30 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band remained undistributed.

The auction set two records in terms of revenue generated and the amount of spectrum sold, reported DailyStar. The auction came to a close at a stunning pace of only one hour.

30 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band remain undistributed

Both Grammenphone, the country’s biggest operator, and Robi each won 60 MHz in the 2600 MHz band for BDT 33.61bn (€354m). In the 2300 MHz band, Banglalink won 40 MHz for BDT 22.41bn (€236m) and the state-owned Teletalk 30 MHz for BDT 16.81bn (€177m).

The regulator awarded the licences for 15 years. The licensees must start using the frequencies by 1 January 2023.

Grameenphone sees the winning of the spectrum as an opportunity for Digital Bangladesh. The auction marks the company’s 25 anniversary of its presence in the market.

Erik Aas, CEO of Banglalink, said that the company would utilise the spectrum primarily for 4G, rather than 5G, during the next two to three years. The reason is that the company’s priority is “4G for all, not 5G for a few”.

The licensees must pay 10% of the licence fee within 60 days after the award and the rest in equal instalments over the period of nine years.

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