Mobile phone operator Grameenphone, which holds the exclusive rights to use 1,600 kilometres of fibre optic cable of Bangladesh Railway under a lease deal, would get 63 per cent of the proceeds if unused portion of the cable network is leased to any third party.
Bangladesh Railway and Grameenphone have already agreed in this regard and received an interim approval from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, an official of BTRC told New Age on Monday.
As per the approval of the commission, 10 per cent of the lease proceeds would be kept for meeting up regulatory and licensing- related costs.
Of the rest amount, GP would get 70 per cent (or 63 per cent of the total proceeds) while BR would retain remaining 30 per cent.
The revenue sharing ratio for BR’s dark fibre, leased to Grameenphone in 1997 with exclusive rights, was set considering the payment GP made and its effort to maintain the fibre, the BTRC official said.
Grameenphone has got the exclusive rights over the BR’s 1,600 kilometres dark fiber after winning an international tender.
The government in 2016 took an initiative to open the fibre optic cable to other mobile phone operators with a view to ensuring its maximum use.
A joint committee comprising representatives of the Bangladesh Railway and Grameenphone, which was formed for revising agreement between the entities on dark fibre use, has agreed to revise the agreement following the government instruction.
Despite the revision of the BR-GP agreement, the mobile phone operator would continue to give all day to day support, customer communication and technical assistance, among others, along with payment of around Tk 100 annual lease money to Bangladesh Railway which the mobile operator has been providing since 1997, the BTRC official said.
The mobile phone operator, however, would not be allowed to intervene in awarding lease of the BR’s fibre to any entity.
Under the interim approval, GP will use BR’s 10 pairs of fibre optic cables in 24-pair section, 8 pairs in 16-pair section and all four-pair in Jamuna Bridge Railway Link Project section, the official said.
GP’s rights over the BR’s fibre would be settled as per the report of the need assessment committee, formed to assess GP’s actual requirement of fibre, he said.
The optical fibre network at 300 railway stations was installed in 1989 under a modernisation project of Bangladesh Railway signalling system with financial assistance from the Norwegian government.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Railway has already leased 412 kilometres of its fibre cable to another mobile phone operator, Robi Axiata Limited, which was developed by the BR after 1997 and remained out of the contract between BR and GP.
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