Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has decided to assess the impact of recently introduced uniform call rate that drew widespread criticism from the mobile phone customers.
The telecom regulator made the decision at a recent meeting after noticing negative impact of the uniform call rate on the customers, a senior official of the commission told New Age.
The commission, following instruction from the prime minister’s ICT adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy, enforced the uniform call rate, making call rate pricy for the customers.
Mobile phone operators from August 14 this year implemented the uniform floor rate at Tk 0.45 per minute by resetting the previous floor rates (Tk 0.25 per minute for on-net and Tk 0.60 per minute for off-net) and keeping the upper ceiling unchanged at Tk 2 per minute.
Bangladesh Cell Phone Costumers Association immediately after the implementation of the uniform call rate formed human chain in capital Dhaka demanding scrapping of the decision.
The association also said that the BTRC decision was an undemocratic one as the telecom regulator imposed the order keeping people in the dark.
A number of senior officials of the mobile phone operators said that they noticed an increase in their revenues after the uniform call rate came into force.
They, however, said that call volumes also declined after August 14 as mobile phone customers reduced call volumes to keep their bills within budget.
BTRC officials said the impact analysis of uniform
call rate would help BTRC understand the situation better.
They said that the commission would take next course of action based on the analysis.
The telecom regulator before the execution of new rate before the launch of mobile network portability service had info rmed the government high-ups that the setting floor price at Tk 0.45 per minute would facilitate mobile phone operators making increased revenues.
A BTRC estimation showed that three leading mobile operators — Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink — would earn additional monthly revenues of around Tk 387 crore in total by introducing the uniform minimum rate of Tk 0.45 per minute.
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