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POST TIME: 14 August, 2018 01:24:56 AM
Uniform call rate for mobile phone users from today
STAFF REPORTER

Uniform call rate for mobile phone users from today

The Bangladesh Teleco-mmunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has directed mobile phone operators to introduce a uniform call rate, which will be effective from 1am today, after removing the different rates of on-net or off-net calls.In a letter signed by BTRC director (systems and services) Lt Col Mohammad Azizur Rahman Siddiqui, the commission yesterday directed the operators to introduce the uniform

call rate.

The minimum call rate has been set at Tk 0.45 a minute and the maximum rate at Tk 2 a minute. VAT, tax and surcharge will be added to these rates.

This step will benefit the subscribers by clearing their confusion about different call rates, BTRC acting chairman Md Jahurul Haque told The Independent yesterday.

Even if there is no on-net (within the same network) and off-net (other network) call rates, the interconnection charge has been set at Tk 0.14 per minute for calling from one operator to another.  Among the Tk 0.14, the Interconnection Exchange (ICX) will get Tk 0.04 and the call terminating operator will get Tk 0.10 per minute.

If any package is contrary to the new rules, it will be cancelled on August 14 and new call rate packages will have to be introduced from August 15.

Earlier, the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology had instructed the BTRC to set Tk 0.5 per minute as a uniform call rate for mobile phone users to establish a level playing field for the country’s telecom operators. The commission proposed a Tk 0.45 per minute call rate.

Now, the minimum charge set by BTRC is Tk 0.25 per minute for on-net and Tk 0.60 for off-net calls. The maximum charge is Tk 2 per minute.

At present, 90 per cent calls of Grameenphone is on-net or GP-to-GP.  Around 70 per cent calls are on-net and 30 per cent off-net for Robi and Banglalink.

The situation of Teletalk, however, is frustrating. Only 10 per cent of the total calls by its subscriebrs are on-net, sources said.

Banglalink recommended the rate be fixed at Tk 0.45 a minute, while Robi wants it to be Tk 0.55 a minute.

According to the BTRC, the total number of mobile phone subscribers has reached 150.727 million at the end of May 2018.

Among them, GP has 68.594 million, Robi 45.229, Banglalink 33.346 million and Teletalk 3.757 million.