Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has decided to issue the much-awaited mobile number portability licence to Infozillion BD-Teletech Consortium Limited.
Infozillion BD, a Bangladeshi entity, and Teletech d.o.o, a Slovenian company, have formed the consortium to get the MNP service operator licence.
MNP service will allow the mobile phone users to change operator without changing their existing number by paying Tk 30 as charge for the service.
The decision of the commission came from the telecom regulator’s latest meeting after getting endorsement from the Prime Minister’s Office, a BTRC official told New Age last Thursday.
He said that the commission had already issued a letter in this regard to Infozillion BD-Teletec Consortium.
The BTRC letter issued on October 31 asked the entity to pay Tk 11.6 crore as licence fees including value-added tax within 30 days.
It also asked the entity to inform the BTRC about the formation of a full-fledged consortium in line with the MNP licencing guidelines.
The commission would issue the licence within few days depending on completion of all the procedures by the consortium, the BTRC official said.
In September this year, an 11-member BTRC committee proposed that the ministry award MNP licence to Infozillion BD-Teletech Consortium based on evaluation under the ‘beauty contest’ method.
Although there was a requirement of checking security clearance of the applicants under the ‘Regulatory and Licensing Guidelines for Mobile Number Portability Services in Bangladesh’ as most of the applicants have foreign affiliation, the proposal was made without getting security clearance of the consortium.
The government’s earlier move to award MNP licence was postponed in 2016 amid security clearance-related complexities as there was no requirement in the earlier guidelines, which were amended in July this year by introducing the issue of security clearance of the applicants.
The government, however, did not check the security issue this time due to lobbying from individuals having links with ruling Awami League despite the fact that the BTRC-recommended company has foreign partner, BTRC sources said.
The government planned to launch the service within this year with a view to enhancing competition among the existing mobile network operators to provide better services.
Earlier in July this year, the telecom regulator had invited applications to award an MNP licence.
Five companies including Infozillion BD-Teletech Consortium had submitted applications within the stipulated time to do the job.
Four other applicants were: REVE Number Ltd, Greentech International Ltd, Brazil-Bangladesh Consortium Ltd and Roots Infotech Ltd.
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