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BTRC asks Bangladesh Railway to revise fibre optic deal with Grameenphone

  • Published at 11:04 pm March 29th, 2017
BTRC asks Bangladesh Railway to revise fibre optic deal with Grameenphone
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has asked Bangladesh Railway to revise irrelevant sections of a lease agreement between the railway and the country's leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone. The BTRC has already served a letter in this regard, asking railway authorities to send a revised agreement within 30 working days as the current one was violating Bangladesh Telecommunication Law 2001. BTRC Assistant Director (legal and licensing department) Md Aman Ullah served the letter on behalf of the regulator on March 9 to Bangladesh Railway Director General Amzad Hossain. The same letter was sent to the Posts and Telecommunication Division and Grameenphone CEO Petter-B Furberg. In 1997, Grameenphone had signed a 20-year agreement with Bangladesh Railway to use its 1,600km optical fibre network. However, the Posts and Telecommunication Division has been urging the Railway Ministry to allow all mobile operators in the country to use the optical fibre network. The BTRC letter also stated that Grameenphone was not allowed to lease or sub-lease optical fibre or transmission capacity to any operator as per the Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN) guideline and infrastructure sharing guideline. It said that the mobile operator can temporarily use two of the four core optical fibres and the rest two can be under the railway's control and they can lease or sub-lease unused optical fibre and transmission capacity to Access Network Service (ANS) operators and services concerned. Bangladesh Railway can sign a separate agreement with Grameenphone for maintenance of the optical fibre, the letter added. The regulator also urged railway authorities to remain alert so that its financial and others benefits were not affected. The letter also said that with the help of BTRC's engineering and operations, Bangladesh Railway can assess how much optical fibre Grameenphone needs to provide voice and data services to its valued subscribers. When contacted, Grameenphone's Head of External Communications Sayed Talat Kamal said: “We have seen BTRC’s letter to the Bangladesh Railway. We are currently in discussions with the railway authorities about the matter.”