Monday, February 18, 2019 | ePaper

Mobile phone's minimum call rate now 0.45 paisa

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Staff Reporter :
A uniform minimum call rate of Tk 0.45 per minute for mobile phones is going to be effective from early hours of Tuesday as the government approved the fresh tariff to establish a level playing field for the country's telecom operators.
Through this initiative on-net (same network) and off-net (other network) call rate disparity  will be removed, said Md Jahurul Haque, acting chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
 "The abolishment of the different call rates will create pressure on the mobile operators to improve their service quality to attract customers," he said.
Currently, there is no difference in price for on-net and off-net segment anywhere in the world, said the acting BTRC chief.
The decision came two weeks ago with a scope to revise it time-to-time after a meeting with Sajeeb Wazed Joy, Prime Minister's ICT Affairs Adviser, he added.  
A top official of BTRC said they recommended fixing the charge to Tk 0.40 per-minute, but that would have had a bad impact on the state-owned operator Teletalk, and that's why the call-rate has been fixed at Tk 0.45 per minute.
The move will also save the customers from getting bill shocks when mobile number portability (MNP) is made available following its launch in October this year, said the BTRC chairaman.
With the MNP, people will not be able to identify whether they are making on-net or off-net calls as the service allows users to switch to a different operator without changing existing mobile phone numbers.
Earlier, Banglalink recommended the rate be fixed at Tk 0.45 a minute while Robi wanted it to be Tk 0.55, but the largest operator, Grameenphone, opposed the whole idea.
According to the existing charges for each minute, the operators charge Tk 0.35 to Tk 0.40 on an average for on-net calls and Tk 0.91 to Tk 1.05 for off-net calls.
In both cases, the upper ceiling for mobile call rate is Tk 2 per minute, which will remain same in the new rate chart.

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