It was back in 2009 that I was criticized for saying that regulation based on an understanding of the operative Budget Telecom Network Model did not permit strict regulation of quality of service. It was also around then that we started focusing on taxes as a factor.
That was repeated many times in Bangladesh by us, for example, when I outlined what needed to be done to achieve Digital Bangladesh.
That these things have to be said again and again, indicates we have not been very effective.
The national exchequer gets Tk 51 of every Tk 100 spent by a mobile user, leaving less money for the operators to develop network and run business smoothly, the GSMA said yesterday.
Bangladesh’s mobile industry has one of the world’s highest taxation rates while operators’ monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) is one of the lowest, less than $3, the association said.
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“Low ARPU, high tax and high spectrum charge cannot give you quality of service,” Emanuela Lecchi, head of Asia Pacific of GSMA, said at a press conference in Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka.
This makes the situation very difficult for the government to achieve the goal of establishing a Digital Bangladesh, she said.