Wednesday April 25, 2018 04:19 PM

BTRC wants to fix mobile data pricing

BTRC wants to fix mobile data pricing

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission is planning to introduce the Cost Modelling System for fixing data prices to protect public interest.

According to the industry insiders, such cost modelling helps subscribers avail data services at an affordable price where mobile operators face little or no competition, but in Bangladesh, the scenario is different.

Here the operators are facing a breakneck competition to survive in the market, they said, adding that before introducing the cost modelling system, the regulator should know the status of Bangladesh in data pricing in terms of global context.

BTRC sources said they are closely working on fixing the system in the best interest of valued subscribers. What the mobile operators are pricing now is a little bit higher, according to the regular.

Meanwhile, the regulator has already singed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

As per the MoU, ITU will send a consultant to BTRC that will advise the regulator to provide a way for the commission to find a right way for fixing the data price.

BTRC Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood told the Dhaka Tribune that the regulator is working on it and hopeful to launch the system at the earliest possible time, considering the subscriber’s interest.

“Since I assumed the office as a chairman, I have always focused on quality mobile services in the telecommunication industry. Then we held a public hearing to listen to the complaints of subscribers. We will do more to ensure public interest,” added Shahjahan.

Seeking anonymity, an official of a mobile operator said the regulator should select a consultant who must be from a reputed company, either in local or international arena, plus he must have a huge experience in cost modelling, or else the output he will provide would not be acceptable.

With reference to previous audit appointments to different mobile companies, the official said the pick of a reputed consultant is a debatable issue.

For Voice Call, BTRC has set a benchmark that does not allow any operator to charge below 0.24 paisa/minute.

An official of another mobile operator said if the market does not witness enough competition among mobile operators, cost modelling could be introduced there.

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