BTRC rejects AMTOB time extension plea for MNP launch

HM Murtuza | Published: 00:05, Mar 08,2018 | Updated: 00:16, Mar 08,2018


The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has turned down a plea made by the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh seeking additional time for the rollout of mobile number portability service.
The association of the country’s mobile phone operators had sought additional two months for adopting technologies required to launch the MNP service, a senior official of the commission told New Age on Tuesday.
Mobile number portability allows a customer to change mobile phone operator by keeping his existing number unchanged by paying Tk 30 as charge for the service.
In November 30, 2017, the BTRC issued MNP licence to Infozillion BD-Teletech Consortium Limited.
Under the MNP guidelines, Infozillion is supposed to start its operation within 180 days starting from November 30, 2017.
The BTRC official said the deadline for rollout is mentioned in the MNP licencing guidelines and the mobile phone operators are aware about the issue.
Besides, launching MNP service is nothing new to the country’s mobile phone operators as the service has already been launched in many countries where the three private mobile phone operators — Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink — have operations, the BTRC official said.
Effective efforts, as it was shown by the three mobile phone operators in launching 4G services, would be enough to launch the service within the stipulated time, he said.
The mobile phone operators launched 4G services within a few moments after getting licences from the telecom regulator despite the fact that there was no binding in the 4G licencing guidelines that they would have to launch the service straightway.
Of the mobile phone operators, Robi Axiata Limited launched the service in 64 district headquarters within a day of getting the licence on February 19.
Asked, Infozillion BD-Teletech Consortium chief executive officer Mohammad Zulfikar told New Age, ‘We are making preparations to launch the service within the deadline set by the BTRC.’
Besides Infozillion, mobile operators have a big role to play in lunching the service, he said.
As per the BTRC guidelines on MNP service, Infozillion will have to port at least one per cent of the mobile phone subscribers through the service by May this year.
Alongside, the MNP operator will have to port 5 per cent of the total mobile phone subscribers within one year and 10 per cent within five years.
On November 7, 2017, Infozillion managing director Mabroor Hossain, while speaking at a press conference, said that the service might become available between March and April this year. 

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