BTRC lowers MNP service licence fee to Tk 10 crore

HM Murtuza | Published: 01:25, Apr 13,2017

 
 

A file photo shows a man talking on a mobile phone as he walks past the closed shops at Moghbazar in Dhaka. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has reset mobile number portability service license acquisition fee at Tk 10 crore as the license would be awarded through ‘beauty contest’ process instead of auction. — New Age photo

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has reset mobile number portability service license acquisition fee at Tk 10 crore as the license would be awarded through ‘beauty contest’ process instead of auction.
The telecom regulator has set the fees at its latest meeting held last week with retrospective effect by amending the decision of its earlier meeting when MNP license acquisition fees was set at Tk 20 crore.
The meeting was presided over by BTRC chairman Shahjahan Mahmood.
Rest of the clauses of the draft guidelines would remain unchanged, BTRC officials told New Age.
Other clauses of the draft guidelines on MNP service license would remain same.
According to the draft guidelines, annual license renewal fees would be Tk 25 lakh, while revenue sharing would be 15 per cent from the second year, bank guarantee Tk 10 crore and security money Tk 1 crore.
Once license is awarded, MNP licensee companies will have to rollout their service within six months.
Commencement of the service would allow mobile subscribers to switch from one operator to another with just Tk 30 as fees without changing their existing number.
The draft guidelines also scraped auction process for MNP service licence instead the licence would be awarded under ‘beauty contest’ selection process.
Under the process, a BTRC formed committee will mark interested companies out of 100.
The basis of the marking, among others, will include participants’ experience, financial capability and foreign affiliation.
The freshly drafted guidelines also allowed government to cancel any entity’s application if it fails to attain security clearance.
Foreign affiliated firms would be allowed to hold highest 51 per cent stake in a MNP service providing entity.
The BTRC was scheduled to hold the MNP service auction by September but postponed it amid security concerns as all the selected firms have foreign partners.
The five firms are : REVE Number Ltd, Greentech International Ltd, Infozillion BD Telelech Consortium Ltd, Brazil-Bangladesh Consortium Ltd and Roots Infotech Ltd.
In June 2013, the telecom regulator asked the mobile phone operators to introduce the MNP service by January 2014 but the operators failed to do so.
Later, the BTRC decided to appoint a third-party company to implement the service.
Currently, some 72 countries including neighbouring India and Pakistan have already adopted the popular system for their customers, with Singapore being the pioneer in this field. 

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