BTRC to hold ‘beauty contest’ for awarding MNP licence

Staff Correspondent | Published at 10:27pm on February 15, 2017

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has cancelled entire auction procedure of mobile number portability service licence in the backdrop of security clearance related complicacy.
The telecom regulator at the same time also decided to award MNP license through ‘beauty contest’ procedure instead of auction, BTRC officials told New Age on Tuesday.
The decision was taken at BTRC’s latest meeting presided over by its chairman Shahjahan Mahmood.
Under the beauty contest selection process, a BTRC formed committee will mark interested companies out of 100, BTRC officials said.
They said that the basis of the marking, among others, will include participants’ experience, financial capability and foreign affiliation.
Including the issues, BTRC drafted a guideline on MNP service licensing keeping a provision to cancel any entity’s application if it fails to attain government security clearance, the officials said.
The new draft guidelines will be forwarded to the posts and telecommunications ministry for finalisation, they said.
Besides the inclusion of security clearance issue, the amended draft guideline will allow any foreign affiliated firm to hold highest 51 per cent stake in a MNP service providing entity.
The MNP service would allow the mobile phone users to change operator without changing their existing number.
The BTRC was scheduled to hold the MNP service auction by September but postponed it amid security concerns as all the selected firms have foreign partners.
The five firms are: REVE Number Ltd, Greentech International Ltd, Infozillion BD Telelech Consortium Ltd, Brazil-Bangladesh Consortium Ltd and Roots Infotech Ltd.
In June 2013, the telecom regulator asked the mobile phone operators to introduce the MNP service by January 2014 but the operators failed to do so.
Later, the BTRC decided to appoint a third-party company to implement the service.
Currently, some 72 countries including neighbouring India and Pakistan have already adopted the popular system for their customers, with Singapore being the pioneer in this field.