The new cellular phone operator who would be awarded license for 3G operation has to invest foreign currency directly during the roll-out period of the mobile broadband technology in the country, said officials.
They said the foreign company or foreign partner of any local firm cannot raise loan from any domestic sources to pay license, spectrum acquisition and others fees. “Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is required for the new operator who would be awarded license for 3G operation in the country through open auction,” chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Sunil Kanti Bose told BSS here today.
He said the new entrant has to follow the rules, regulations and instructions of the Bangladesh Bank and Board of Investment during the roll-out period.
The telecom regulatory body has already fixed June 24 for the auction of 3G license and assignment of necessary spectrum. Meanwhile, the regulator has offered invitation proposals for issuing license for 3G cellular phone services.
The government in the final “3G Guideline” decided to issue five licenses for the mobile broadband technology, of which three from the existing operators and another new operator. Besides, the state owned cellular phone operator Teletalk will be awarded the license by paying the bidding money without participating in auction.
The 3G guideline said for the development, operation and roll-out of 3G services, 100 percent of FDI or Foreign Partnership or Joint Venture or investment from NRB (Non-Resident Bangladeshi) is permitted.
The foreign partner shall invest foreign currency directly equal to its percentage of ownership and no loan from any Bangladeshi Schedule Bank, Financial Institution and Leasing Company can be raised for the foreign part of the investment to pay license fee, spectrum acquisition fee and to purchase equipment (hardware and software) and services from abroad during the roll-out period.
The rules, regulations and instructions of the Bangladesh Bank, Board of Investment and any other competent authority of the government shall be binding to the licensee regarding the operational financing, the guideline added.
It said the new entrants will be eligible to participate in the auction process subject to their success during the primary evaluation of the application on the basis of the required qualifications and documents submitted by the applicants.
Primary evaluation criteria of the new entrant shall include (but not limited to) experience of providing 2G and 3G services in at least two countries for a minimum of five-year with at least 15 million subscribers.
The new entrant selected through auction process to receive 3G Cellular Mobile Phone services Operator License, shall be eligible to apply for a “Cellular Mobile Phone Operator License” for 2G services to the Commission.
The terms and Conditions including fess and charge for 2G license and spectrum shall be applicable as per “Cellular Mobile Operator Regulatory and Licensing Guidelines, 2011,” the guideline added.