Banglalink, the third largest mobile operator in Bangladesh, plans to sell off its 9,000 mobile towers to a third-party operator once the government introduces licensing for tower companies, so it can focus on providing mobile service to consumers, The Daily Star reported.

The operator applied to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BRRC) to set up a subsidiary which would own and manage its towers and then plans to sell the tower unit after the government awards licences for tower management companies said Jean-Yves Charlier (pictured), CEO of VimpelCom, Banglalink’s majority shareholder.

The government already started the process of planning an auction of licences for tower management and established guidelines, the local newspaper reported.

Charlier said VimpelCom will invest more than $100 million this year to upgrade Bangalink’s network and, if the government holds a spectrum auction, the amount would increase. VimpelCom invested $2.4 billion in Banglalink over the last 12 years.

Bangalink, which has a 24 per cent market share, reported revenue for the nine months to end-September 2016 increased 4 per cent $469 million.

Charlier was in Dhaka to meet with the telecoms minister, the telecoms regulatory commission chairman, the ICT minister and the central bank governor, The Daily Star said.