BTRC wears the emperor’s robe

Posted on May 19, 2015  /  0 Comments

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has deferred the auction of 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz spectrum until June 10. Its warning of bringing new entrants has already failed to tame the boycotting mobile operators. Now the regulator is blackmailing the mobile industry on QoS.

Sunil Kanti Boss, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, said the mobile phone operators need more spectrum, and if the leading operators do not take part in the upcoming spectrum auctions, they cannot offer quality services.

“If operators fail to ensure quality services, they will be penalised for it,” the BTRC chairman said at a press conference at his office yesterday, on the eve of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2015.

Such threat of BTRC chief is unrealistic for two reasons. First: there is a provision of roughly up to $38 million (BDT 300 crore) penalty in the telecoms law. Authorities are, however, yet to fix the exact amount of penalty for various offenses including the substandard service. Second: participating in the auction of spectrum is every operator’s prerogative. Neither BTRC nor the government can force any operator to join the cue of sopping.

The chairman’s view on the need of spectrum is appreciable. BTRC is, however, unwilling to grant “technology neutrality” to solve this problem. Last year, Mr. Bose has said, “The BTRC officials do not have adequate qualification to publish indicators of the country’s telecom industry.” One may wonder if the regulator can really measure the QoS of mobile services. It’s high time for BTRC to take a closer look at own profile. It will find the robe is missing.

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