Friday, May 26, 2006 - Bangladesh Telecom

BTRC proposes new call termination rate for BTTB - mobile revenue sharing

The Bangladesh Telecommuni-cations Regulatory Commission has proposed a new termination rate for a revised revenue sharing agreement between the state-owned Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board and private mobile phone operators.

The commission proposed the new rate in May after a series of meetings in April with the telephone board and the mobile phone operators, BTRC officials said. If both sides agree, the new rate will be implemented in phases.

According to the proposal, the mobile phone operators will pay the telephone board at a rate of Tk 0.70 per minute whenever a call is made from their networks to the BTTB network.
The telephone board will pay at a rate of Tk 0.30 per minute between May and July, Tk 0.40 between August and December, Tk 0.50 in 2007, Tk 0.60 in 2008, and Tk 0.70 in 2009 for calls from the BTTB network terminating in the networks of the mobile phone operators.

"The revenue sharing between the BTTB and the operators will be on an equal footing in 2009," a top official of the commission said on Wednesday.

The commission has also proposed that the telephone board should pay mobile phone operators at a rate of Tk 2 per minute for international calls from and Tk 1 for international calls to the mobile networks.

In March, the telephone board sent separate proposals to the four operators to sign a revised revenue sharing agreement. The operators rejected the proposals as discriminatory and sought the regulatory commission’s intervention.
The regulatory commission took the issue for an amicable solution and proposed this new rate, said a senior official of the commission.

The board had proposed that it would pay Tk 0.30 per minute to the mobile operators when it terminates its calls on their network but would charge Tk 0.70 for terminating calls from the mobile network on its network.

On April 19, it implemented a Tk 1.5 per minute call charge for calls to any mobile phones without signing a revised revenue sharing agreement with the mobile operators, although it said paying interconnection charges to the mobile operators was the reason for switching to a per-minute rate instead of the 5-minute peak and 8-to-10-minute off-peak chunks for Tk 1.5.

However, due to the absence of a new revenue sharing agreement, the board’s subscribers have been paying 400 hundred per cent more, compared to earlier charges, when calling mobile phones and the mobile operators have also been taking incoming charges from their customers when they receive calls from the BTTB network.

Under the existing agreement, signed in 1998, the mobile operators pay interconnection fees when accessing the BTTB network whereas the telephone board pays nothing when terminating its traffic to the mobile operators’ network.
The board, however, has a revenue sharing agreement with the state-run mobile phone operator Teletalk Bangladesh.

The mobile operators have repeatedly said they will not charge for incoming calls from BTTB phones once the new revenue sharing agreement comes into effect.

The mobile operators say they have signed interconnection agreements among them and with private land phone operators.
The agreements are symmetrical where they charge Tk 0.90 per minute for peak hours and Tk 0.50 for off peak hours.

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