Cost modelling for telcos’ data service on cards

Staff Correspondent | Published: 01:21, Nov 27,2016


The International Telecommunication Union is going to prepare a cost modelling for data service of the country’s mobile phone operators.
A team of the ITU will visit Dhaka next month to hold discussions with the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission about preparing the cost modelling for the data service.
Telecom regulator officials said the commission had already contacted the ITU, a UN body specialised in telecommunication and ICT-related issues, seeking its help to perform the task.
In 2009, the BTRC set the voice tariff following a cost modelling done by the ITU.
BTRC chairman Shahjahan Mahmood told New Age on Saturday that the ITU team would come to Bangladesh to discuss the scope of the work.
‘Despite significant reduction in bandwidth price the user-level price of the internet is not decreasing. So to get a clear picture and to set a pricing benchmark we’ve decided to conduct a cost modelling of data service of mobile phone operators,’ he said.
Shahjahan said that as the country was now upgraded to lower middle income category and not in the LDC anymore, the BRTC would have to pay the ITU for such service.
‘Other than that the ITU had some issues about some UN resolutions which we’ve cleared recently. The ITU team will visit us next month,’ he said.
The BTRC chairman, however, said that the date was yet to be fixed for the visit.
Currently data service prices are set by the operators and the regulator has no given benchmark to check the rationality of the pricing, BTRC officials said.
‘All the service prices are proposed by the telecom companies and we have to negotiate to lower the prices based on that. There is no cost model for most of the services other than the voice service,’ a senior BTRC official told New Age.
Although the government has lowered the bandwidth price significantly, the end users are not getting any benefit of it, he said.
‘We understand that bandwidth is only one component of the total cost but it is a pricy one and there should be some impact at the end-user level when we reduce it. But, the telecom companies seem to disagree and we’ve decided to conduct a cost modelling for that,’ the official said.
The government reduced the internet bandwidth price to as low as Tk 625 a megabyte last year. The price was Tk 72,000 eight years bank.
Last week mobile phone users complained about the higher price of mobile data service at a public hearing conducted by the BTRC.
Same volume of data is sold in different prices by different companies and the prices are also high, the users said. 

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