Telcos could face up to Tk 100cr fine for service quality slips

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Nov 19,2018

 
 

The newly enacted quality of service regulations for the telecommunications sector have empowered Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to impose up to Tk 100 crore in administrative fine on the access network service operators including mobile phone operators for breaching rules.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (ANS Operator’s Quality of Service) Regulations, 2018, which was published in a gazette notification on November 11, allows BTRC to impose penalty on the access network service providers, who provide service directly to customers, under section 64 of Bangladesh Telecommunication Act, 2001 for failure in ensuring quality of service.
The operators would get a chance to rectify their faults as BTRC would issue a 30-day notice to them to comply with the regulations before imposing the fine.
Section 64 of the act also allows BTRC to impose up to Tk 300 crore in fine and five years of imprisonment in the case of non-payment of the fine within BTRC-set timeframe.
The regulations ask all telecom operators including the mobile phone operators to resolve 90 per cent of the customer complaints within five working days and all the billing-related complaints within 28 days.
The regulations have also made it mandatory for the telecom operators to receive 100 per cent of the customers’ phone calls in their customer care centres within 90 seconds and 90 per cent calls within 40 seconds.
The provision is included in the regulations to reduce customers’ hassle in getting remedy while making calls to customers care centres as majority of the customers of the mobile phone operators have to wait long to talk to the customer representatives to get supports, BTRC officials said.
Based on quality test to be done through a drive by BTRC, the regulator would be able to publish the ranking of the ANS providers including mobile phone operators in this regard.
The regulations have also made it mandatory to publish performances of ANS providers based on the QoS benchmark indicators including network coverage, call setup time, call setup success rate, call drop and data throughput.
All the service providers will have to submit monthly reports on compliance with each of the QoS standard to the commission within 10 days after the end of each month.
Along with the mobile phone operators, the regulations cover broadband access services, fixed telephony services and any other services introduced by BTRC through administrative order from time to time.
Of the drive test key performance indicators, mobile phone service operators will have to maintain call drop rate below 2 per cent and call setup success rate above 97 per cent.
Maintaining 160 kilobyte per second for 2G service and 2Mbps for 3G service will be a must for the operators in the case of drive test, with uploading speed of 40Kbps for 2G and 128Kbps for 3G services.
In the case of 4G, mobile phone operators will have to maintain 7Mbps download speed and 1Mbps upload speed.
The regulations have also mentioned that the broadband access services will have to maintain an average minimum 5Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speed in a month.
Under the regulations, every service provider has to meet the quality of service standards for its entire service area in respect of each parameter specified in the QoS regulations.
The directive BTRC issued previously to deal with quality of service became invalid after the publication of the regulations.

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