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Bangladesh: Positive signals on license renewal?

In what appears to be an affirmation of the value of consultation, it appears that the government of Bangladesh is rethinking the confusing and counter-productive license renewal draft issued late last year.

Telecoms Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju told reporters that the guideline drafted by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission would be revised.

“The radio spectrum price as well as other charges would be determined after another meeting with the finance ministry,” he said. “Fees will be reconsidered and kept at rational level.”

Telecoms Secretary Sunil Kanti Bose, chief executives of the four mobile operators and BTRC representatives were present at the meeting.

The operators, business groups, international agencies, multilateral donor agencies and think-tanks have pressed the government to revise the renewal guideline and reduce renewal charges for growth of the telecoms sector. BTRC submitted the draft guideline to the ministry in 2010.

But we will wait until the full details are released to render final judgment on a process that we participated in, in multiple ways including formal comments and participation in stakeholder discussions.

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