INTERNET PAY PER USE

BTRC to go soft on telcos to enforce cap

HM Murtuza | Published: 21:56, Mar 21,2018 | Updated: 23:23, Mar 21,2018

 
 

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has opted to take a soft line with the mobile phone operators in enforcing its directive that caps pay per use of internet package at Tk 5.
The telecom regulator has taken the stance following opposition from the mobile phone operators to the directive.
In February, the telecom regulator issued the directive asking the mobile phone operators to set the ceiling on the pay per use of internet package at Tk 5.
The commission came up with the directive with a view to saving customers from bill shock under the internet package following concerns raised by the mobile phone users in a public hearing held in 2016.
The mobile phone operators have been charging customers high tariffs on the package for long, creating dissatisfaction among their customers.
Under the pay per use of internet package, the mobile phone operators can charge a customer up to Tk 200 without taking any consent from the user.
The mobile phone operators at a recent meeting with BTRC chairman Shahjahan Mahmood opposed the directive saying that the telecom regulator took the decision without holding any consultation with them, senior officials of the commission told New Age.
Besides, they demanded a change in the BTRC directive by which it would be made optional for the mobile phone operators to impose the cap on the internet package.
At the meeting, the mobile phone operators mentioned that the implementation of the BTRC directive would take few months.
The commission in its directive had asked the mobile phone operators to implement the Tk 5 capping on pay per use of internet by April 1 this year.
The operators also proposed that the cap should only be effective for those who would express their interest to the operators for such capping.
Following the proposal from the operators, a high up of the commission hinted the mobile operator that the commission would not move forward to implement the directive before reaching a conclusion over the issue by holding consultation meeting with the mobile phone operators.
The BTRC directive, however, states that the limit could be raised based on consents from the customers.
In such case, the operator will have to collect consents from the customers through USSD as evidence that the operator or customer can show in case of any dispute.
At present, the mobile operators are not supposed to inform or take any approval from the customers for charging under the pay per use tariff.
The operators are also yet to comply with the BTRC directive that imposes ceiling on regular and promotional offers.
The BTRC directive said that the operators would be allowed to market highest 20 regular offers and 15 promotional offers and they were asked to submit to the commission the lists of their offers by March 1.
On November 22, 2016, the BTRC organised its first-ever public hearing where mobile phone customers had widely blamed the operators for poor quality of services especially call drop, mute call, data drop, unwanted SMS and packages, bill shock, charges more than service, interrupted network and fraudulence in the name of packages.

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