MNP awaits finance ministry’s approval

MNB-BTRC_Daily_Dhaka_TimesDaily Dhaka Times: Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is waiting for the finance ministry’s approval for Mobile Number Portability (MNP) to start, repors Daily Independent.

With this service a subscriber would be able switch to any operator keeping the same phone number.

State Minister for Telecommunication and Post Tarana Halim said that they have sent the file for approval to the finance ministry in the second week of October.

“Till yesterday they have not received any approval from the finance ministry,” said BTRC Secretary Faizur Rahman Chowdhury.

He also added that once the approval comes from the finance ministry BTRC would start working on the whole process.

According to a source from Telecommu-nications and Post Ministry, State Minister is out of the town and as soon as she comes back the BTRC officials will be able to talk to her about tender floating and its process.

According to BTRC, the tender would float after they have decided on the fees.

Earlier, on September 20, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina finalised the draft guidelines for MNP and on October 7, State Minister for Telecom, Tarana Halim, announced that the MNP service will begin in February.

“We are trying to start MNP by January. It is hardly likely that it will take till February,” Tarana Halim added at that time.

She further said that both local and foreign registered companies would be able to participate in the auction but foreign companies would need a maximum partnership of 51 per cent with local companies.

Even owners/ directors/partners/ investors/ shareholders of mobile operators with Bangladeshi licence would be considered ineligible for the auction so as to maintain impartiality.

Tarana said that they would give importance to companies that have minimum three years’ experience in MNP services.

After receiving finance ministry’s approval a company would be awarded MNP licence, who will help the subscribers to switch operator, Tarana said. Yesterday, when asked a senior Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) official said the regulator did not receive any approval letter from the telecom ministry in this regard till yesterday.

“We will float tender for MNP service as soon as we receive the ministry’s approval letter,” the official added.

For availing the services of different operators, the customers will have to pay a fee of maximum Tk 30.

However, once the number is ported, they will have to continue with the new operator for at least 40 days, announced State Minister for Post and Telecommunica-tions Tarana Halim at a press conference at her office in the Secretariat on October 7.

Editor: Chowdhury Arif Ahmed
Executive Editor: Saiful Alam
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