Mobile phone operators will have the right to layout optical fibre cable connectivity if the nationwide telecommunication transmission network providers fail to give connectivity within 25 days, following a change in the stance of the telecom regulator.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission gave the right to mobile phone operators under a clarification following queries from the operators.
The clarification would be treated as part of the guidelines on 4G licensing and spectrum auction, said a BTRC response issued on Wednesday by its director MA Taleb Hossain.
An official of NTTN operator told New Age that there was possibility that some mobile operators would try to twist the 25 days detail to their advantage.
The BTRC response to the mobile phone operators stated, ‘If an operator wants to set up a tower in a location and there is already a tower in that location owned by another operator, the incoming operator will share the tower and the connecting last mile fibre already in existence instead of building new ones.’
It also said that, ‘if the mobile operator requires last mile connectivity, the operator must first request to an NTTN company to provide the last mile fibre connectivity to any tower.’
After the operator informs the commission in this regard, the BTRC response added, ‘An approval committee from BTRC will examine these requests on a case by case basis and notify the decision of the commission.’
BTRC in its response also added that if the NTTN operator cannot lay the fibre within 25 working days, the mobile operator will get the right to lay their own ‘last mile’ fibre to connect the tower with the nearest NTTN PoP.
The operators, however, would not be allowed to rent or lease the fibre to any other operator. BTRC officials said that pressure from the operators was the main reason behind the change in stance of the commission.
As per existing practice and NTTN licensing guidelines, the commission does not allow any mobile phone operator to lay fibre since the enactment of NTTN licensing guidelines, an official of the commission said.
The operators, however, were supposed to apply to the commission for laying out fibre to a certain area if NTTN operators did not provide the fibre connectivity.
The commission in the recent times also followed the norms following prayers from Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink.
Besides the fibre issue, the commission also gave mobile phone operators respite from taking any permission from the commission in case of deleting call records after two years until or unless the commission or law enforcing agencies ask the operators to preserve the records.
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