4:32 pm - Tuesday September 25, 0688

BTRC plans to offer 450 MHz spectrum to mobile operators    

The telecom regulator plans to allocate the 450 megahertz spectrum band to mobile operators after 2015 — a move that is expected to widen the operators’ scope to utilise a wider range of spectrums and offer faster internet.

The allocation will be made after the regulator offers the 700 MHz band next year.

A 12-member committee headed by a commissioner of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission will prepare a licensing guideline by November, reports the Daily Star.

btrcDue to low frequency, the 450 MHz band will enable service providers to deploy higher-performance mobile broadband services over greater distances. As a result, the operators will be able to roll out their service network with less equipment or investment for more people, analysts said.

BTRC Chairman Sunil Kanti Bose said they are working on recovering the unused spectrum in the 450 MHz band from different entities, as some fixed line operators were allocated the band earlier.

The regulator recently refused the state-run Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) an allocation in the 450 MHz spectrum band, intending to reserve it for mobile operators.

BTCL had a plan to use the spectrum to build a new network through CDMA (code division multiple access) technology.

The International Telecommunication Union, a UN body, will arrange ‘world radiocommunication conference’ next year when regulators worldwide will get a guideline on proper utilistion of the 450 MHz band, Bose said.

The low frequency band of 450 MHz is promising for internet propagation as it is easier and cheaper to set up for wider coverage and hence remoter areas, said Mahmud Hossain, chief regulatory affairs officer of Grameenphone.

The industry is still working on technology to best utilise the band, he said.

“We appreciate the BTRC’s working on the issue. It will benefit users, operators and the government if the band is released following proper process,” he said.

Earlier, the government’s spectrum management committee, a body that deals with allocation of radio frequencies, recommended that the 450 MHz band be reserved for different mobile services such as 3G, 4G or LTE (long term evolution).