Officials of leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone on Tuesday urged the telecom regulator not to impose any SMP condition that would hinder the operator’s growth and subsequently discourage it from making fresh investment.
They made the plea as Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission is going to declare GP as significant market power in the telecom sector soon under the Significant Market Power Regulations, 2018, which came into effect on November 14 last year.
The officials came up with the request while talking to reporters in a city hotel where GP’s parent company Telenor’s public policy director Jasper Mikkelsen, GP regulatory affairs head Hossain Sadat and external communications head Sayed Talat Kamal were present, among others.
Mikkelsen said that the SMP rules were imposed with a view to ensuring competition in the market.
Besides, finding out reasons for a potential uneven competition and remedies for the problem are major tasks of the telecom regulator, he said.
‘My understanding is that the market competition looks okay in Bangladesh as there are already a number of regulations to keep a competitive situation in the telecom market,’ Mikkelsen said.
He, however, hoped that the commission would analyse international best practices and take remedial measures based on the practices instead of doing something harmful to the industry.
GP welcomed the SMP regulations, Hossain Sadat said, adding ‘But, we are not doing anything that could hamper competitiveness of other telecom entities.’
He said GP was not offering lower voice call rates than other operators instead there was an allegation that GP’s tariff rates were higher than the others. On the other hand, BTRC has already set voice call rates and interconnecting charges and introduced mobile number portability to ensure competition, and these are enough for ensuring competition, he said.
If any condition is imposed without considering international best practices and recommendations made by International Telecommunication Union, it would ultimately affect efficiency and hamper GP’s profitability and subsequently would impact the government tax collection, Sadat said. Any damage to business would ultimately fade out the possibility of potential investments by GP, he added.
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