Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission on Monday extended the deadline for the launch of much-awaited mobile number portability service by two months amid pressure from the mobile phone operators.
The deadline extension decision was made at a commission meeting held on Monday, presided over by its acting chairman Md Jahurul Haque, a BTRC official told New Age after the meeting.
The MNP service will allow the mobile phone users to change operator without changing their existing number by paying Tk 30 as charge for the service.
Due to the deadline extension, the commercial launch of MNP service would now begin on July 31 this year. The previous deadline was May 30, 2018.
The commission made the decision following an instruction from the prime minister’s ICT affairs adviser, Sajeeb Wazed Joy.
As per the MNP licensing guidelines, Infozillion Teletech BD was supposed to launch the service within 180 days of getting licence.
The telecom regulator has already submitted to the posts and telecommunications ministry a proposal of an amendment to the guidelines allowing Infozillion to launch the service after 241 days of getting the licence.
The BTRC handed over MNP licence to the BD-Slovenian entity in November 30, 2017.
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.
Although Infozillion had planned to move in line with the BTRC-set deadline (May 30), the launch was delayed mainly due to opposition of the mobile phone operators.
At a meeting held at the Gana Bhaban in Dhaka, where prime minister’s ICT affairs adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy, posts, telecommunications and information technology minister Mustafa Jabbar and senior BTRC officials were present, the deadline was extended for two months following a proposal for time extension of 6-8 months.
Earlier, in March this year, the BTRC turned down a two-month time extension proposal of the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh as the regulator found the request contradictory with the MNP licencing guidelines.
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