LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Category Archives: Bangladesh

RFP deadline extended to 31st August: Study to assess the potential of the NOFN for rural connectivity in India. For more details see RFP.

Catalyzing the conversation on treating customers better in Bangladesh

We were pleased to receive front-page coverage for our dissemination event in the business section of the leading English language newspaper in Bangladesh. The Chairman of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission, Mr A.R. Khan, was the chief guest and participated in the entirety of the event, which stretched over four hours. In the concluding discussion, […]

Chairman: BTRC lacks capacity to publish indicators

National Telecom Policy of 1998 still governs Bangladesh. It has prompted the Telecom Reporters’ Network Bangladesh (TRNB) to organize a round table discussion titled “Revision of Telecom Policy” yesterday. Rohan Samarajiva was the keynote speaker in this event. Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Abdul Latif Siddique and BTRC chairman Sunil Kanti Bose along with […]

LK TRC dumps MNP while BTRC sticks to it

Prepaid has diminished the appeal of Mobile Number Portability (MNP). A recent study of GSMA suggests that merely 25% of developing markets have introduced MNP, while only a further 15% are known to be implementing it in the future. It means about 60% of regulators in the developing world have either decided against introducing MNP, […]

Spy outfit wants a slice of USF pie in Bangladesh

Despite opposition from ITU, the industry and the lawmakers, Bangladeshi bureaucrats have succeeded to stage a legislative coupe for amending the telecoms law in 2010. As a result, whatever little authority Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) had been enjoying was hijacked by the telecoms ministry. Regulatory environment of Bangladesh went back to the Stone Age. A […]

Terrestrial links keeping Internet alive in Bangladesh

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A submarine cable snaps in every three days while a terrestrial cable gets severed in every 30 minutes somewhere in the world. The global economy counts annual loss of US$26.5 billion due to such disruptions, estimates Ciena. Therefore, route-diversity is the fundamental prerequisite of uninterrupted Internet. Early last year we reported the activation of cross-border […]

BTRC trespasses into central bank’s turf

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has been dictating the termination rate of international voice traffic. This foolish act has made bypass pervasive and unstoppable. Now BTRC has trespassed into the central bank’s domain to dictate the fees of mobile banking transactions. Even the central bank doesn’t dictate the costs of mobile banking transactions. The telecom regulator […]

Network sharing: Israel, India and Bangladesh

Fierce competition has prompted the operators in Israel to jointly build 4G networks, according to Reuters: Under the deal, the three operators will cooperate in obtaining frequencies for the 4G network, which will be built and operated by a newly created entity equally owned by Cellcom and Pelephone. Each operator will be required to purchase […]

Nil value to Sing Tel’s Bangladesh investment

Under Sri Lanka’s law, if an operator goes out of business, the Director General of Telecom has to run it. This used to be one of my nightmares. I knew how to regulate, but did I know how to run a company? The Daily Star paints a grim picture of Citycell, a Bangladesh CDMA licensee. […]

Economist compares mobile broadband prices: Bangladesh does poorly

These comparisons are, of course, problematic. But still engaging especially in the context of the launch of the Alliance for an Affordable Internet. Thailand yields no data. And I assume they work off advertised speeds rather than real . The Economist provides a nice interactive map. Sri Lanka appears to do best (USD 6.6) among […]

The tale of TeleTalk

October 14 will be the first anniversary of launching 3G by TeleTalk in Bangladesh. The state-owned mobile outfit wasn’t required to pay anything for license or spectrum at that time. Authorities said that TeleTalk would pay exactly the same amount the private operators pay once the 3G auction is over. Now TeleTalk is to match […]

Bangladesh inserts warrantless and non-bailable arrest in ICT law

Very recently the Transparency International has said the political parties, police and the judiciary are among the most corrupt in Bangladesh. Now the amended ICT law empowers the police to arrest any citizen without any warrant for suspected cyber crime. The suspect will be also denied any bail and end up in the jail for […]

Bangladesh commits suicide in ITU’s broadband ranking

Bangladesh took a giant leap in terms of redefining broadband from 128 Kbps to 1 Mbps at the end of last year. Such politically motivated administrative intervention has, however, failed to improve its abysmal broadband profile in the region. The Broadband Commission, in conjunction with ITU and UNESCO, has published the “State of Broadband 2013: […]

Bangladesh failed to sell 38% of 3G spectrum

Adrenaline didn’t flow in Bangladesh 3G auction today. It could be anything but auction when four bidders show up for four licenses. Bangladesh government has priced US$20 million per Megahertz for 40 MHz of spectrum in 2100 MHz band. It is in addition to 10 MHz spectrum being assigned to state-owned Teletalk. Theoretically, Grameenphone (Telenor), […]

Digitally shy lawmakers of “Digital Bangladesh”

Technology is a catalyst, not an element, of increasing productivity. The desire of improvement is central to all successes, where technology accelerates the rate of achievement. Bangladesh government can truly claim the credit of dramatically improving the child and maternal mortality rates through an efficiently run nationwide scheme of immunization. Political goodwill has been the […]

CAG slams BTRC’s free swapping of Airtel’s spectrum

It has a bit of background. Warid Telecom of Abu Dhabi had acquired the 6th mobile operating license in Bangladesh, through open auction at US$ 50 million in 2005. The license was bundled with 15 MHz. spectrum in 1800 MHz. band. Therefore, Warid paid $3.3 million per MHz. for the spectrum. In 2008, the regulator […]

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