BTRC likely to raise MNP fees as it amends guidelines

HM Murtuza | Updated at 12:00am on September 11, 2018

The government has withdrawn from MNP licensing guidelines the specification of Tk 30 as mobile number portability fee for the customers, widening the space for charging the subscriber a higher amount against the MNP service.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has amended a provision of the mobile number portability licensing guidelines in this regard.
Amendment to the guidelines was finalised after approval from the posts, telecommunications and information technology ministry.
The telecommunication regulator has revised the MNP licensing guidelines in line with a decision made at a recent meeting in presence of prime minister’s ICT affairs adviser Sajeed Wazed Joy at Gono Bhaban in Dhaka where telecom minister Mustafa Jabbar, among others, were present.
Instead of specifying the charge in the guidelines, the revised guidelines allowed 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, they said.
MNP operator would get the fees from the mobile phone operators for the porting facility.
On January 31, 2018, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India slashed charge against mobile number porting service to Rs 4 (equivalent to Tk 4.65) per successful porting from Rs 19 (equivalent to Tk 22.09) earlier.
In India, the porting charge is being paid by the mobile phone operator, which receives a customer from another operator.
India introduced the service in 2015 whereas the launching date of the service in Bangladesh, for the last time, was rescheduled for October 1 this year.
Among the Asian countries, mobile phone subscribers in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore and Thailand get the service free of cost.
Mobile phone subscribers in Maldives and Taiwan, however, have to pay fees for MNP service.
Besides the fee from the customers, another Tk 100 in fees would be taken from the mobile phone operators for receiving a subscriber from another operator.
The BTRC handed over MNP licence to Infozillion Teletech BD, BD-Slovenian entity, on November 30, 2017.
Initially, the deadline for the service launch was fixed for May 30 but rescheduled for a number of times and finally set for October 1 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 from the mobile phone operators.