Five local firms win DLD, ILD exchange licences

22 Feb 2008

Three Bangladeshi-owned companies, Bangla Trac Communications, Novotel and Mir Telecom, have won 15-year licences to set up international voice gateways, ending the monopoly of government-owned incumbent telco Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB). Around 30 local firms took part in the auction on Tuesday. On Wednesday two other local companies, M&H Telecom and Getco Telecommunications, won 15-year licences to operate ‘ICX’ exchanges, providing interconnection between voice networks, both domestic and international, breaking another BTTB monopoly. The two firms, which beat 26 other competitors in the auction, agreed to give 65.75% of their revenue to the government. Each licensee will be able to set up three ICX switches: one in Dhaka and another two in Chittagong and Khulna or Sylhet and Bogra. According to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), the privately-run ICX services will allow monitoring, lawful interception facilities and number portability, as well as preventing all illegal international call termination, including unlicensed VoIP. Existing domestic telecoms operators and foreign companies operators were barred from both auctions. Under the BTRC’s International Long Distance Telecommunication Services Policy 2007 all voice calls, including VoIP, will be routed via licensed ICX and international gateway operators. An auction for international internet gateway (IIG) data carrier licences will be held on 25 February.



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