State committee proposes ‘VoIP licences for all’ to ease ILD congestion

5 Mar 2007

A Bangladeshi government committee on legalising voice over internet protocol (VoIP) has recommended allowing VoIP licences to be issued to all operators, including providers of mobile, fixed line and internet services. The committee proposed the establishment of four government-owned common platforms for international telephony gateway services, and recommended allowing private operators, especially local companies, to develop more common platforms. It also recommended augmenting state telco BTTB’s international capacity with 3,000 more circuits in addition to the existing 11,000 circuits ‘within the shortest possible time’ and another 24,000 within the next three months to ease current levels of ILD call congestion. The committee also suggested identifying and punishing operators involved in illegal VoIP businesses over the last few years, and recommended seeking an alternative submarine network link to the existing SEA-ME-WE-4 cable to reduce dependency on the lone international gateway. The committee was formed last month to consult on how to open up the legal VoIP market, with a view to improving international call services following the recent shutting down of several illegal VoIP operators in a government crack-down. BTTB claimed last year that the grey VoIP market was costing it nearly BDT10 billion (USD145 million) in annual revenues.

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