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Bangladesh Working on Keeping June Date for 3G License Auction

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Bangladesh's telecoms regulator has confirmed that it is their intention to hold the country's long delayed 3G auction in June, and wont need to delay it again as had been previously suggested.

BTRC Chairman Sunil Kanti Bose told bdnews24.com that they will resolve the outstanding tax problems with the mobile networks before the auction.

The mobile networks have to submit applications by the 12th May and the shortlist will be announced a week later. Bidding is due to start on the 24th June.

The networks have however been arguing over a problem of how VAT would be applied to the cost of the licenses, and have also been lobbying for a reform of the sales tax applied to SIM cards.

A top BTRC official, who preferred anonymity, told bdnews24.com that a proposal has been made to halve VAT on 3G license to 7.5 percent from proposed 15 percent. This had already been rumoured to be suggested last month, and now appears to be moving closer to agreement.

The government also recently approved measures to offer 8 blocks of 5Mhz instead of four blocks of 10Mhz to encourage the smaller networks to participate in the auction, and open up the possibility of more than one new entrant into the market.

On the web: bdnews24.com

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Tags: 3g license  btrc  Bangladesh