Five mobile operators have applied to bid in Bangladesh’s impending 3G auctions.
All of the entrants – Airtel, banglalink, Citycell, Grameenphone and Robi - already have a presence in the market.
The state-owned operator Teletalk has already been granted 10MHz of spectrum in the 2,100MHz band, and an additional 40MHz has been put to bidding by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). The starting price per MHz has been confirmed as $20 million.
Since no international operators have applied to participate in the auction, the BRTC could provide a further 3G licence to another local operator. There could therefore be six bidders in the auction, which will take place on September 8th.
Going by H1 2013 results, Bangladesh has an estimated 63.2 million subscribers, making it the world’s ninth biggest market by subscribers. The country’s population is around 154 million, meaning that the growth potential is vast.
Grameenphone, which is owned by Telenor, leads the seven-player market with 44 million connections. Second place Robi, an Axiata subsidiary, has 35.4 million while Orascom business banglalink takes third place with 27.1 million.