• Friday, August 22, 2014

Mobility plan for landline firms irks mobile operators

Abdullah Mamun

Mobile operators have raised concern over the government's plan to provide limited mobility to fixed phone operators by amending their licence conditions.
Such a move will create huge anomalies in the telecom sector, chief executives of six mobile operators said in a letter to the telecom secretary.
The mobile operators also want the government to initiate discussions with stakeholders before finalising the matter.
The concern arose following newspaper reports that the fixed phone operators will be able to provide mobility to subscribers in certain areas within a city and offer internet protocol (IP) telephony and IP television services.
The letter was sent to the telecom secretary on March 30 and a copy was also forwarded to the chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
TIM Nurul Kabir, secretary general of Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh, said the government has created two separate categories for the mobile and land phone operators.
Mobile operators have taken licences for mobility paying a huge amount of licence and spectrum fees, he said, adding that fixed phone operators' licence fees are minimal compared to those of the mobile operators.


The CEOs said, if mobility is allowed to the land phone operators, also known as PSTN (public switched telephone network) operators, this will create imbalances in the telecom market.
The move will also seriously harm the mobile operators through the introduction of new competitors having undue privilege which would be against the protection of their investment and would create a ripple effect for new investors, the CEOs said.
“We are very much concerned about the news and believe that mobility is a special feature that MNOs (mobile network operators) have purchased licences for. PSTN operators cannot be entitled to mobility; otherwise the difference between fixed and mobile operators will not exist,” the letter read.
Grameenphone CEO Vivek Sood, Banglalink CEO Ziad Shatara, Robi CEO Supun Weerasinghe, Airtel CEO Chris Tobit, Citycell CEO Mehboob Chowdhury and Managing Director of state-owned Teletalk Md Mujibur Rahman signed the letter.

Published: 12:00 am Friday, April 04, 2014

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