Country’s mobile phone companies have demanded immediate decision on the pricing of mobile financial services arguing that the regulatory move to conduct a cost modelling for the purpose would be time consuming.
In a letter to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission recently, the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh also said delaying the process would cause significant amount of revenue loss to the government.
The BTRC earlier in October, after a meeting with Bangladesh Bank, MFS operators and mobile operators, decided to send a proposal to telecom ministry to conduct a cost modelling to determine the USSD pricing of the MFS.
The operators have demanded a price of Tk 1.5 for a 2 minutes session.
‘In connection with the proposition on conducting a cost modelling exercise on USSD session it must be noted that cost study is an expensive and time consuming exercise. Both government and MNOs in the meantime have incurred substantial financial losses in absence of session-based prices,’ said the AMTOB letter.
‘Considering the above situations, we request BTRC to set an interim tariff for USSD and SMS until the completion of the study,’ it said.
AMTOB said as the number of users of mobile financial services is increasing it has an impact on the USSD traffic.
The MFS operators claimed that meeting mobile operators’ demand will increase the overall operation cost as the USSD session charge would be higher than the existing charge.
They said that people who were using the service will have to bear the additional cost.
The pricing of MFS recently came into focus after the mobile phone companies demanded higher revenue share for MFS operations.
As per the MFS operators the mobile companies get 7 per cent of the revenue of each transaction.
Agents and distributors get 80 per cent of the revenue while MFS operators (banks or their subsidiaries) get 13-16 per cent of the revenue, they said.
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