Bangladesh offers new GSM licence

Bangladesh is opening up its telecoms market by inviting open tenders for another GSM licence, for 15 years initially.

Applicants are required to be either an existing local company or joint venture that has traded for at least a year or they must be an overseas company with existing GSM experience. Preference will then be given to bidders with experience of operating GSM networks in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives.

GSM and CDMA operators already operating in Bangladesh have been banned from competing for the additional licence to bolster their own spectrum requirements. Under the tender conditions the GSM cellular system will operate in the 1,710-1,765/1,805-1,860 MHz GSM band.

Final selection of the winning bid will be by beauty contest. Key criteria include adherence to the network roll out schedule with an anticipated maximum period of three years for national coverage. The licence fee will be an annual payment of US$800,000 plus quarterly payment of 1% of revenues plus such backbone wireless rental charges as may be required by the operator.

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