4G spectrum auction, licensing to go ahead as scheduled
The 4G spectrum auction and licensing will go ahead as scheduled as the Appellate Division has upheld the freeze on a court order that stalled it.
On Thursday, the High Court stayed a circular by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission or BTRC following a petition.
Internet service provider Banglalion Communications moved the petition, which says the circular contradicts the 2008 wireless broadband guideline.
Hours later, the state took the issue to the Supreme Court’s chamber judge challenging the order and secured a freeze on it.
The matter was forwarded to the Appellate Division, which was heard on Sunday by the bench led by acting Chief Justice Abdul Wahhab Miah.
It said the order freezing the 4G auction and licensing remains halted and told the High Court to resolve its rule by Feb 28.
Last month, the telecom regulator published a circular, setting the auction for Feb 13 and Jan 14 as the deadline to accept applications for licences from operators.
In May last year, BTRC forwarded the draft of the spectrum allocation and licensing guidelines to the Telecom Division.
They were sent back to the regulator on Nov 29 following the final approval by the Prime Minister’s Office.
According to the guidelines, no auction for licence will be held. Operators can take the licence by paying fees but will have to take part in the auction for spectrum.
Banglalion said in its petition that the new guidelines contradict the wireless broadband guidelines, which say mobile phone operators will not be eligible for 4G licences.
According to the 2008 guidelines, the licence to offer 4G services will be awarded to three private entities and a state-owned company.