Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium Limited, a Slovenian-Bangladeshi joint venture, has won the license bid of much awaited mobile phone number portability (MNP) service.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will hand over license to the winning company on November 7 with a view to introduce the service in January.
Mobile number portability is a technology that allows customers to change their operators after a specific timeframe retaining their existing eleven digit number. The government has fixed Tk30 as charge for the service.
BTRC has been trying to introduce the MNP service, which would help bring more competition to the market and improve the service quality, for the last few years.
Currently, some 72 countries including neighboring India and Pakistan have introduced the service, with Singapore being the pioneer in this field.
The telecom regulator has asked the winning firm to deposit the licensing fee, Tk10cr, within a month.
Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium is a joint venture of Infozillion BD Limited and Teletech D.O.O, Slovenia where the foreign partner has 55.9% share. But, it has given undertaking that once the license is granted, Infozillion and Teletech will set up new special purpose venture (local company) and foreign shareholding will be cut down below 51%. Besides, the Teletech has claimed it has a total of 14.7m subscribers and running operation in Armenia, Montenegro and Slovenia since 2006.
BTRC Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said: "We would hand over the license to the winning firm at a ceremony on November 7."
State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim earlier said that the government is determined to introduce the service in January.
The winning company will have to share 15% of its revenues with the government from the second year onwards. The company must provide the service within 180 days of getting the license.
Officials said Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium came on top obtaining the highest scores from the technical evaluation committee among five firms.
Later, the Posts and Telecommunications Division (PTD) forwarded the recommendation of BTRC to the Prime Minister's Office for the final approval.
BTRC recommendation shows that Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium has scored 92 followed by Greentech Mediation Limited 87, Brazil-Bangladesh Consortium 84, REVE Number Limited 82 and Royal Green Limited 53.