How much for spectrum?

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Bangladesh plans for growth

The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has a vision: 'to facilitate affordable telecommunication services of acceptable quality for all regardless of their location'. To do this, it needs to ensure that the radio spectrum is efficiently managed and is available to those who need it, in a timely and reasonable manner. As BTRC also seeks to encourage wider mobile and broadband penetration and take-up, spectrum for 2G, 3G and 4G services must also be in a 'fit state' to be used.

Helios recently completed a project for BTRC which reviewed their policies and practices in the fields of spectrum pricing and planning and conducted an audit of spectrum usage. This wide ranging work will help Bangladesh encourage the continuing development of existing services, whilst at the same time permitting new services to be launched.

Pricing policy needs to strike a balance between the need to recognise the value of the radio spectrum and the need to ensure competitive prices for end-users, so the project team benchmarked spectrum prices in Bangladesh against those of similar countries. The team also conducted a spectrum usage audit to determine areas where spectrum usage may need to change in light of technological or market developments.

The project resulted in revisions to the national frequency plan ready for the introduction of new services such as digital television and rural wireless broadband. It also prompted changes in policy towards new technologies as well as a revision of spectrum pricing. Richard Womersley commented: "This project has laid solid foundations for the 3G spectrum auctions soon to take place in Bangladesh. Following a raft of similar auctions in other parts of the world we know that good preparation will be a key to success, and BTRC are well placed to unlock the value of the spectrum for the benefit of the citizens of Bangladesh."

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