Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) yesterday disclosed the MNP qualifiers name.
MNP allows subscribers to switch their services among operators without changing their phone numbers.
The qualified firms are Roots Infotech Limited, Agile Technology Limited, REVE Number Limited, Greentech International Limited and Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium Limited.
BTRC Secretary Sarwar Alam told the Dhaka Tribune that the expert panel of BTRC has selected the five firms as they fulfilled all requirements needed for MNP bidding.
Another official of the commission said the regulator would start other process required to introduce MNP as early as possible after completion of auction.
If everything goes well, a licence will be given to an independent company for 15 years to operate the MNP system in the country, he added.
The selected company will have to roll out the MNP service within six months after getting the licence.
Six firms submitted bidding proposals to be the operator of MNP in Bangladesh.
Of them, Invariant Telecom Bangladesh Limited that has partnership with MNP Interconnection Telecom Solution of India failed to qualify.
A source in the BTRC said Invariant Telecom didn’t submit a vital document that was very much necessary to qualify.
According to the new auction schedule, the date for submission of bidding earnest money is now fixed on September 18, letter of acceptance or rejection on September 20 and consultation of auction procedure on September 25.
The auction will be completed on September 28 instead of September 21 announced earlier.
On June 14, BTRC set June 16 for the invitation of application while the last date of submission of any query was on June 30.
Base price of the auction was fixed at Tk1 crore while bank guarantee was Tk1 crore.
The firm that will finally be selected to operate MNP will have to pay Tk20 lakh as a licence renewal fee annually and will have to share 5.5% revenue with the BTRC.
Once the MNP is introduced, customers can switch from one mobile phone operator to another while keeping their numbers unchanged within the country’s territory and they can avail the facility again after 40 days with a subscription fee of Tk30.
The foreign companies, however, can hold as high as a 51% share, and must invest in foreign currency with no chance to mobilise funds from the Bangladeshi market.
Any registered Bangladeshi company can participate in the bidding but no mobile operators are eligible for the bidding.
Any Bangladeshi or expatriate Bangladeshi-owned company registered in the country is eligible to bid in the auction. Foreign companies partnered with Bangladeshi ones can also take part in the auction.
Seventy two countries, including neighbouring India and Pakistan, have already adopted the popular system for their customers pioneered by Singapore.
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