12:00 AM, October 14, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 14, 2010

Bangladesh to benefit from ITU membership: BTRC

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Star Business Report

Bangladesh will be able to take part in the decision-making process of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as the country has been elected a council member of the union, telecom regulator BTRC said yesterday.
At an election on Tuesday, Bangladesh got 123 votes out of 161 and acquired the sixth position, beating giants like Australia, India and Thailand, to become the member.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka failed to win a seat at the council and got only 93 and 79 votes. The membership tenure will be four years.
“It can be described as a great achievement of the nation,” Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) said in a web posting.
A council member has to participate effectively in the formulation of policy, regulation and standardisation process of the ITU, said Abu Saeed Khan, secretary general of Mobile Operators Association of Bangladesh.
"A lot of responsibility is now on Bangladesh's
He also termed the achievement of Bangladesh as a matter of national pride.
However, Khan said various tariff barriers, including that of high tax for subscriber identity module (SIM), hinder the growth of mobile telecom market in Bangladesh.
The governments in other South Asian countries pay the mobile operators subsidies to deploy mobile network in rural areas, but not in Bangladesh, he said.
“Bangladesh is the only country in South Asia that achieved 100 percent mobile coverage in terms of population and territory.”
The country also offers one of the lowest tariffs (call charge) in the world, according to a study conducted by Nokia.
The ITU Council was established in 1947 under the name, Administrative Council, following a decision taken by the 1947 Plenipotentiary Conference in the US.

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