BTRC to withdraw MNP service charge from guidelines

HM Murtuza | Updated at 11:31pm on August 03, 2018

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A file photo shows a man talking on his mobile phone in Dhaka. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has initiated a move to withdraw specification of Tk 30 charge customers pay for getting mobile network portability service from the mobile network portability licencing guidelines. — New Age photo

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has initiated a move to withdraw specification of Tk 30 charge customers pay for getting mobile network portability service from the mobile network portability licencing guidelines.
The telecommunication regulator is expected to revise the MNP licencing guidelines in line with the decision made at a recent meeting in presence of prime minister’s ICT affairs adviser Sajeed Wazed Joy at Gono Bhaban in Dhaka where posts, telecommunications and information technology minister Mustafa Jabbar, among others, were present.
Instead of fixing in the guidelines, the revised guidelines would allow BTRC to set MNP charge that would be applicable on the subscribers to switch mobile network operator, BTRC officials said.
The charge for changing mobile operator is expected to be set at Tk 50.
On the other hand, charges for the mobile phone operators for receiving a subscriber from another operator, which earlier was proposed at Tk 150-Tk 170, would be revised downward at Tk 100.
MNP operator would get the fees from the mobile phone operators for giving the porting facility.
Besides the charges issues, the deadline for launching MNP service within July 31 was rescheduled for October 1 amid mobile phone operator lack of preparation.
As per the MNP licencing guidelines, mobile phone operators were supposed to launch by May 30.
The deadline was extended by two months to July 31 amid mobile phone operators’ request saying that they were not yet prepared for the launching of the service.
The BTRC handed over MNP licence to Infozillion Teletech BD, 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 the meeting, Joy asked BTRC to become a VAT-registered entity with the National Board of Revenue.
Becoming a VAT-registered entity will allow the BTRC to give out receipts against VAT payments of the mobile phone operators.
VAT receipts would allow the MNOs to get rebates from the NBR.
The meeting also approved two additional operator codes for Grameenphone and Banglalink. The duo had earlier sought 013 and 010 respectively.
The prime minister’s ICT adviser at the meeting also asked the mobile operators to immediately bring into effect a five per cent VAT on internet usage.