The Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), a global association of mobile phone operators, has requested the Bangladesh government to carry out a public consultation of draft guidelines on the upcoming spectrum auction, said a Grameenphone press release on Thursday.
‘Such a process [public consultation] would allow all interested parties to study the guidelines in detail and provide valuable feedback to help ensure that the spectrum auction, when conducted, will be a successful one for the Government of Bangladesh,’ GSMA head of policy John Giusti said in a letter to the post and telecommunication ministry.
Welcoming the release of additional spectrum to address the increasing use of data services in Bangladesh, the letter requests that the allocation of new spectrum be ‘transparent and consistent with international best practices so as to avoid sub-optimal outcome for all stakeholders concerned,’ it said.
GP has already expressed concern about the auction guidelines one of the conditions bars GP from participating in the auction.
The auction conditions are set with a provision that any operator having more than 20MHz spectrum in the GSM band will not be allowed to take part in the auction, BTRC officials said.
At present, GP has 32MHz spectrum, Teletalk 25.2MHz, Banglalink and Airtel 20MHz each and Robi has 19.8 MHz spectrum.
In the press release, GP chief executive officer Rajeev Sethi said, ‘We have been continuing to press for an all-inclusive, balanced auction and strongly feel that the authorities should still pursue that option for the benefit of the industry and the country.’
GP’s major shareholder Telenor’s Asia region head of corporate affairs Hakon Bruaset Kjol said, ‘Unlocking the digital potential of Bangladesh requires timely release of spectrum to operators that makes efficient use of the radio frequencies. The internet-demanding consumers in Bangladesh deserve this. However, first and foremost the investors depend on a predictable environment for regulation and tax policies to be able to make long term investments decisions. Spectrum auctions could only be successful when such an environment has been established.’
The government is planning a spectrum auction of 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands later in the year.
-With New Age input