Feb 23
Telecom services still not up to mark: BTRC boss PDF Print E-mail

Telecom services have failed to reach its expected level although 20 years have elapsed since the launch of the country's first mobile phone, BTRC Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood said yesterday.

“We are not doing the right thing for the country…All the countries, even those in this (South Asian) region have already launched 4G services but unfortunately we could not do so,” he said.

“Tower sharing is a common trend worldwide but we could not bring it into practice here,” he told a meeting with Telecom Reporters' Network Bangladesh (TRNB) at his office in the capital.

The government approved a revised 4G service guideline yesterday and the service may be available early next year.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is also scheduled to award a mobile number portability licence today, enabling customers to switch between operators without changing their existing numbers.

Mobile number portability should have been made available a few years back, said the BTRC boss.

The telecom watchdog was an independent commission when it was established but now it cannot act independently on different issues, leading to stagnation of its activities, Mahmood complained.

It lost authority over some very important issues to the telecom division due to amendments to the telecom act in 2010, leading to a reduction in its power and scope to fast execution of tasks, he added.

Lots of issues of the internet service providers (ISP) on licence issue and renewal have become entangled in the bureaucratic processes of the government although ISP's are the first stage in delivering digital services to people, he said.

“What BTRC can do only in two weeks takes three to six months and even sometimes more than a year when the task is placed before the government for approval,” the BTRC chairman said.

“We are trying to do something about it,” he said, adding that a slowdown in BTRC's work processes would ultimately affect the end-users.

BTRC last year organised public hearings on service quality and have plan to organise some more to get more feedback from the end-users, said Mahmood.

It has already opened different platforms to register and solve complaints on telecom services, he said.

He said the industry needs to fast bring in services such as Internet of Things and mobile number portability to the market.

BTRC commissioners Md Jahurul Haque and Md Rezaul Quader and TRNB President Rased Mehedi and General Secretary Shamim Ahamed were also present.

(Source - The Daily Star)