The upcoming 3G auction in Bangladesh has received applications from five mobile operators, according to reports. Grameenphone, banglalink, Airtel, Robi and Citycell all confirmed they have submitted applications, meaning there are no new entrants.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will auction a total of 40MHz of spectrum in the 2,100MHz band, with 10MHz already having been allocated to state-owned Teletalk. The reserve price has been set at $20 million per MHz.
According to local bdnews24.com, the BTRC may issue an additional 3G licence to a local operator as no international operator submitted an application to take part in the auction by the 12 August deadline.
This would mean six local operators have a chance to secure 3G spectrum in the auction due to take place on 8 September.
At the end of Q2 2013, Bangladesh had the ninth-largest subscriber base in the world with 63.2 million subscribers as estimated by GSMA Intelligence. It was ranked eleventh in terms of connections, with 117.8 million. With a population of 154 million, it is clearly a market with high growth potential.
The market has seven operators, the largest of which is Telenor-owned Grameenphone with 44.0 million connections at the end of the second quarter. Axiata-owned Robi is second with 35.4 million connections and Orascom’s banglalink is third with 27.1 million.
Bangladesh is one of the few countries in Asia without a nationwide deployment of high-speed mobile networks. To find out the impact 3G is likely to have in Bangladesh, read the analysis from GSMA Intelligence.