BTRC slashes GP pie in incoming voice calls

Staff Correspondent | Published at 10:51pm on June 30, 2020

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission on Tuesday slapped another condition on Grameenphone as part of the implementation of the Significant Market Power Regulations-2018.

According to the new condition, the call termination rate for GP would be Tk 0.07 per minute instead of Tk 0.1 per minute.

Once the new rate is implemented, GP would receive Tk 0.03 less per minute for a voice call that the operator would be receiving from Robi or Banglalink or Teletalk.

With the imposition of the new condition, the number of SMP conditions on GP now stands at three.

Confirming the imposition of the condition, BTRC vice-chairman Subrata Roy Maitra told New Age on Tuesday that the commission imposed the condition as part of its SMP rules implementation.

Although GP would get lower revenue from the others, the voice call-initiating operators would not be allowed to retain the charge curtailed from the GP’s call termination fee, said Subrata.

The revenue would be used for public interest purposes, he said.

On June 21, the commission imposed two SMP conditions on GP.

Setting July 1 as the effective date, the BTRC allowed GP customers to migrate again to any other operators after 60 days of migrating to Grameenphone from any other operator — Robi, Banglalink and Teletalk — under the mobile number portability service.

The migration timeframe for the other operators will remain unchanged at 90 days.

As per the second SMP condition, GP was asked to take approval from the telecom regulator to launch any new package, service and offer, and to continue any of its existing packages after a certain period.

The telecom operator was also asked to take approval from the commission for new packages, services and offers from July 1, while the commission also set August 31 for GP for taking approval from the BTRC for the existing packages, services and offers.

Usually, the telecom operators can continue to run packages after the expiry of the initial approval period by just intimating the issues to the telecom regulator.

Leading telecom operator GP has already challenged the BTRC directive issued on June 21 and the two conditions imposed by it on GP in the High Court.

On February 10 last year, the telecom regulator declared GP as an SMP due to its market share of above 40 per cent under two criteria.

Under the SMP regulations, the telecom regulator on February 18 last year imposed four conditions on the operator.

In March last year, the BTRC withdrew the four conditions amid court intervention, but proposed twenty conditions which could be imposed on the mobile phone operator under the SMP regulations.