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Infozillion-BD to offer MNP service

DHAKA, Nov 7, 2017 (BSS) - The telecom regulator selected joint venture firm Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium Limited for offering the much awaited mobile number portability (MNP) service in the country.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood today announced its name formally at press conference at BTRC and handed over the notification letter to the firm.

"The MNP would force the mobile phone operators to ensure quality of service (Qos) to retain their customers to own network," said Dr Mahmood.

He said the selected firm has been given one month's time to receive the license through depositing the licensing fee.

The license acquisition fee has been set at Taka 10 crore and the company will have to share 15 percent of its revenues with the government from the second year onwards. The company must provide the service within 180 days of getting the license.

Managing Director of Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium Limited (IBTCL) Mabroor Hossain said they have planned to import hardware for the job by January and complete the installation by the end of February.

"We will offer the portability service as soon as possible after completing the connection with mobile phone operators," he added.

Replying to a query on the time of connecting operators, Mabroor said: "Actually it is depending on the operators how much time they would take to do the job, but we will try to do it as per the timeframe of BTRC."

Once the service is introduced, the mobile phone user can port to another operator retaining his/her number unchanged at Taka 30 and the process would take highest 72 hours. If any user again wants to change operator, he/she has to wait 90 days.

About the roll out target, the BTRC Chairman said the IBTCL has to bring 1 percent of the total mobile subscribers under the service within six months of getting license while 5 percent within one year and 10 percent within five years.

"If it (IBTCL) fails to fulfill the target, 25 percent of their bank guarantee would be deducted for first six months while another 25 percent for one year and the cent percent for five years," said Dr Mahmoodd, adding, "License will also be cancelled for the failure and second bidder will be awarded the license."

The BTRC Chairman said IBTCL has attained highest marks from the technical evaluation committee among five firms. Six firms had bought tender documents but five deposited.

Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium is a joint venture of Infozillion BD Limited and Teletech DOO, Slovenia, with the foreign partner having 55.9 percent share. But, it has given undertaking that once the license is granted, Infozillion and Teletech will set up new special purpose venture (local company) and foreign shareholding will be cut down below 51 percent.

About the stake of the joint venture, Mabroor Hossain today said they have made a new consortium agreement where they kept 50-50 percent stake for local and foreign partners.

BTRC has been trying to introduce the MNP service, which would help bring more competition to the market and improve the service quality, for the last few years.

Some 72 countries, including neighboring India and Pakistan, have introduced the service with Singapore being the pioneer in this field.