WiMAX is a dynamic solution to establishing long-haul data communication link to distant areas. In an open auction, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has been assigned 35 MHz frequency to Augere Wireless Broadband Ltd. from 2.3GHz band and same to the Banglalion Communication Ltd. from 2.5 GHz band. After awarding this license, the internet penetration of the country has increased. At present, the number of broadband customer in Bangladesh is about 0.4 million. 56 percent of the district towns of Bangladesh are now under wireless broadband network. To make this possible, BTRC has lowered the bandwidth price after analyzing the overall scenario and consulting with the ministry. Lowering the price of bandwidth will have effect on spreading the internet service at the grass-root level and developing the telecommunication infrastructure. But it has also been observed that the cost of establishing the infrastructure to reach the internet to the people of remote areas’ of Bangladesh is very high. If the infrastructure cost can be reduced then it is possible to rip the benefit of lowering the bandwidth price.

Figure: Broadband Wireless Access Connectivity

BWA Operator’s Spectrum Assignment Procedure

1. The applicant has to submit application for BWA Services Operator License to the Legal and Licensing Division prescribed application form duly filled in, signed and sealed, together with all the necessary documents and information indicated in the application information instructions.

2. The application will be made and signed only by the applicant or applicant's authorized   personnel. The Commission reserves the right to reject the application, if it is found that the information or documents provided for in this application are untrue, inaccurate or incomplete. The Commission will decide the eligibility of the applicant as well as licensing procedure either auction or others.

3. The licensee(s) will pay all the required fees and charges i.e. application fee (taka 50,000/- only in the form of pay order/bank draft), the license acquisition fee (which will be fixed through auction) as per as licensing guidelines. All fees, charges etc. paid by the licensee(s) are non-refundable and payable in favor of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission in the form of pay order or bank draft from any scheduled bank of Bangladesh.

4. After awarding BWA Services Operator License, licensees(s) will prayer for assigning frequency to the Chairman of BTRC (attention to the Director, Spectrum Management) in his/her organization’s letterhead pad along with the copy of issuing license and prescribed new frequency allocation form duly filled in, signed and sealed, together with all the necessary documents and information indicated in the application information instructions.

5. Thereafter, it is placed to the Spectrum Management Committee (SMC) for their opinion. The SMC recommends the proposal to the commission. It is worth mentioning that the commission reserves all the rights and sole responsibility of assigning spectrum to the licensee.

6. After assigning frequency to the licensee(s), the licensee will eligible to import radio equipments by getting prior permission from BTRC.

7. The assignment of the frequency shall be conditional on the payment of the spectrum charges for the first year and other relevant fees specified by the Commission.

8. The Licensee(s), after the payment of the License Acquisition fee (to be fixed through auction), shall for the second and subsequent years of operation, pay annual License fees comprising of the following-

  • Annual License Fee: A sum of Taka 3 crore (BDT 30 Million) payable by the Licensee in advance on each anniversary of the date of the License.
  • Gross Revenue Sharing: No Revenue (0%) shall be shared for the first year. A sum equivalent to 2% of the annual audited gross revenue of the Licensee for the second year and 4% for the subsequent years, which shall be paid on a quarterly basis within the first 10 days at the end of each quarter. The percentage of revenue to be shared may be changed from time to time by the Commission and the licensee shall abide by it.
  • Radio Equipment and Spectrum Charges: The rights granted to the Licensee do not include any rights to use any radio frequency except the BWA frequency until such frequencies are allocated by the Commission. For all allocated frequency, the Licensee shall be obliged to pay all required fees and charges related to such frequencies as fixed by the Commission. The Licensee shall pay to the Commission the spectrum charge quarterly in every year according to the spectrum formula. If the amount along with late fee is not paid in full within 60 (sixty) days from the due date, such failure may result in cancellation of the allocated frequency.
  • Performance Bank Guarantee: The licensee shall submit Bank Guarantee of Taka 15 (fifteen) crore (BDT 150 million) in favor of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission within 15 (fifteen) days from the date of issue of the license. The bank guarantee will be encashed as per the roll out target obligation as stated in clauses 20 and 22 of the guidelines.

9. Rollout Obligation: Broadband Penetration Targets to be fulfilled by the licensee(s) by covering the areas as well as increasing subscribers from first year of issuance of license then the subsequent years.

10. Due to limitations of WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e) technology, the licensee(s) is authorized to develop and operate a broadband network to provide nationwide BWA services, based on the international standards, as approved by the commission. In this case, the Government shall decide the terms and conditions including fees and charges where applicable for such usage of spectrum assignment.