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Bangladesh set to offer three WiMAX licences - to new bidders

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, Bangladesh's telecoms regulator, has published its draft guidelines for issuing three nationwide Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) licences. Two will be in the 2.3Ghz band and one in the 2.5Ghz band.

In a radical move, the incumbent operators are banned from bidding - and the new bidders are limited to having 60% foreign shareholding. The licencees will be authorised to develop and operate a telecoms network to provide nationwide BWA services based on IEEE 802.16e (WiMAX) standards. The system can be point-to-multipoint or mesh radio systems consisting of BWA distribution hub stations and their associated subscriber stations (or BWA access devices). The last mile solution may be implemented in conjunction with WiFi.

The operators and end-users are allowed to use their equipment in fixed locations, in a nomadic manner or with a fully mobile capability, at their discretion. Again in the spirt of a radical document each of the licensed operators will have to share the same tower and the existing infrastructures. The proposals will award a contiguous 30 MHz of unpaired spectrum from 2.3 GHz band (23xx-23xx MHz and 23xx-23xx MHz) to two licencees. A contiguous 30 MHz of unpaired spectrum from 2.5 GHz band (25xx-26xx MHz) will be assigned to one licencee, with 2615-2620 MHz kept as a guard block between TDD and future FDD assignment. 30MHz contiguous channel will be allocated to each operator to provide BWA services, while per channel bandwidth should be either 5 or 10 MHz. Existing ISP licence holders operating in 2.3, 3.5, 5.2, 5.4 GHz and 700 MHz will be allowed to continue their wireless Internet services for five years with pre-WiMAX equipments - but will not be allowed to replace any existing equipment.

This article is a summary by Reuters of the full document: www.btrc.gov.bd/newsandevents/bwa_guideline.pdf

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