Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has endorsed an Infozillion BD-Teletech Consortium proposal to charge mobile phone operators along with taking fees from customers for mobile network portability service.
The BTRC has already put forward a proposal in this regard to the posts and telecommunications ministry for approval, a senior official of the commission told New Age on July 12.
The MNP service will allow subscribers to change their mobile network (operator) by keeping their existing numbers.
Under the BTRC proposal, a mobile phone operator will have to pay Tk 150-170 as charge to Infozillion for receiving each MNP customer from other operators, the BTRC official said.
The charge, however, would be finalised after getting approval from the telecom ministry.
On the other hand, the charge to be paid by each customer for changing operator under the MNP service will remain unchanged at Tk 30, the BTRC official said.
He said that under the licencing conditions the mobile operators were supposed to provide the MNP service to their customers but they refrained from implementing the service and so separate licence was awarded to an MNP operator (Infozillion BD-Teletech Consortium).
He claimed that the MNP operator needed to charge mobile operators Tk 150-170 against each MNP client to make its business ‘viable’.
As per the BTRC-set fresh deadline for the launch of MNP service, the mobile phone operators are supposed to start the service by July 31, 2018.
The previous deadline was May 30 this year.
Neither the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh nor the telecom operators agreed to make any official comment on the charge-related issue stating that the issue was yet to be communicated to them by the regulator.
An official of a mobile phone company, however, said that imposition of such charge was irrational and unacceptable.
Infozillion BD-Teletech Consortium chief executive officer Mohammad Zulfikar told New Age that Infozillion under the mobile network portability guidelines preserved the rights to impose charge on the mobile phone operators for the service.
Usually, service providers propose a charge to the regulator against any service and the charge becomes effective after getting approval from the regulator, Zulfikar said.
‘As we have invested around Tk 11.5 crore for the licence and another $6-7 million for software and hardware installation, returns on the investment must be ensured for the sustainability of the business,’ he said.
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