The government of Bangladesh is considering streamlining its licensing system by replacing operators’ existing separate 2G, 3G and 4G spectrum licences with a single consolidated permit.
Bangladesh has seven mobile operators, each of which hold separate licences for 2G, 3G and 4G frequencies. These permits are valid for fifteen years, and are respectively due to expire in 2026, 2028 and 2033.
The Daily Star reports that the proposed consolidated licences would expire on the scheduled date of the current 4G licences, obliging operators to hand over a fee in order to extend the validity period of their 2G and 3G licences.
Regulator BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) recommended calculating spectrum rates in line with operator subscriber numbers. The regulator has invited feedback from the public via a consultation which is open until 31st August.
The Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh hailed the proposals, with the body’s secretary general SM Farhad saying “we appreciate the initiative. It will be guiding the future investment in the sector and will be impactful for the next 15 years.”
Third-placed operator Banglalink said that it supported the proposals, noting that service providers are increasingly able to deliver any services under licences that offer a broader remit. However, it noted that the proposed consolidated licence could not be termed true a “unified licence”, and that they must allow for other technologies going forward.