The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has taken initiatives to create business opportunities for PSTN and IP phone operators through a special package, named “differential baseline tariff”.
Under the package created recently, the telecommunications regulator has reduced interconnection charges for making calls to a mobile phone network from PSTN (public switched telephone network) or IP (internet protocol) phone operators.
According to the new interconnection tariff plan, PSTN and IP operators will pay only Tk0.06 per minute in the next fiscal year. At the same time, they will receive the same rate for every minute of incoming calls, which will be effective from July 1.
Interconnection charge is Tk0.18 per minute at present. It will be reduced to Tk0.09 in 2014, Tk0.12 in 2015 and Tk0.15 in 2016 for mobile operators, a BTRC directive said.
As almost 90% of the calls from PSTN and IP telephony service operators are outgoing to mobile operators. It will help the operators save some money on interconnection charges, industry insiders say.
“It is an opportunity for operators like us, who have nominal subscribers,” AKM Shamsuddin, chief operating officer of RanksTel, told the Dhaka Tribune.
“Out of our total calls, 90% is outgoing to mobiles. So, it creates opportunities for us to reduce our costs, and subsequently, we can reduce our call rates,” he said.
But Sumon Ahmed Sabir, owner of BDcom Online Ltd, an IP phone operator, does not agree with Shamsuddin.
“This decision may create opportunities for small operators to flourish. But operators who getlots of incoming calls, like us, we may lose out,” said Sabir, who is also vice president of Internet Service Providers Association Bangladesh.
Mobilephone operators, too, are not happy about the BTRC directive, as they may lose money overincoming interconnection charges.They may send a letter to the commission to review the directive, sources said.