4G auction after budget: Muhith

Spectrum auction 4G will take place after the announcement of the national budget for next year, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith.

The minister spoke after a meeting with Sigve Brekke, president and chief executive officer of Telenor Group, which holds the majority stake in Bangladesh's largest mobile phone operator, Grameenphone.

The Telenor group leader met Muhith during a courtesy call on the sidelines of the World Bank and IMF spring meetings in Washington, DC, in the United States.

Since Muhith raised the allegation of frequent call falls in voice services, Brekke informed the Minister that the spectrum allocated for Grameenphone had been divided into two parts: voice and voice services. data.

There are unused capacities in data services, while there are superior capabilities in voice services that cause falling calls, said Brekke.

If the regulator has given more spectra, the Telenor or the Grameenphone would not have to set aside something for the data and something for the voice services.

"They [operators] want it as soon as possible, I also want to give it soon."

He said: "Our knowledge in the sector is very poor, but changes are happening very quickly in the world."

Muhith said the 4G auction was delaying due mainly to the disagreement between the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and operators on the price of spectrum.

The BTRC wants to set a high price for spectrum while operators want it to be low, he said. The BTRC has 15 MHz unsold spectrum in the band 2100, 10.6 MHz in the 1800 band and a certain spectrum in the 900 band that was released from Airtel after its merger with Robi.

Mobile operators use the band 2100 for 3G and 900 and 1800 band services for 2G services. But after getting the neutrality of the technology, they can use the last two bands for 4G services, which will be cost effective.

The Minister of Finance also spoke with the leaders of the US Chamber of Commerce and business leaders who have investments in Bangladesh.

Representatives from the US Chamber of Commerce, Chevron, American Apparel & Footwear Association, The Coca-Cola Company, ExxonMobil, Bower Group Asia, The Boeing Company, Walmart, Center for International Private Enterprise and MetLife attended the meeting.

"Given that they have investments in the country, the purpose of the meeting was to know Bangladesh and the country's key prospects and raise their problems," the minister said.

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