Regulator’s hurry to issue VoIP licences causes concern

16 Oct 2006

Bangladeshi industry watchdog the Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has begun awarding voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) licences, however, critics are concerned that its sudden enthusiasm to grant concessions will merely result in it allowing powerful illegal operators to get licences, without there being a common operating platform to allow the government to track earnings.

According to local newspaper The Daily Star, the BTRC has received 51 applications for VoIP licences, including bids from 31 ISPs, 14 PSTN operators and six mobile phone companies. But without a common platform, powerful illegal VoIP operators which are among these applicants will now easily get BTRC licences, and will not only eat up the market of Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) but also deprive the government of international telecom revenue.

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