The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on Wednesday issued a notice that it will start issuing voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) licences for retail international call termination from 25 March 2013 to a total of 844 companies which submitted the BDT500,000 (USD6,275) licence acquisition fee by the end of February. The new VoIP Service Provider (VSP) licences are aimed at significantly reducing the number of illegal international VoIP calls, and increasing the state’s revenue from the international voice market. As reported previously by CommsUpdate, existing domestic mobile operators and international gateway operators were prohibited from applying. According to the VSP licence guidelines, 45% of revenues from each VoIP call will go to the government, 13.25% to the wholesale international voice gateway (IGW) operators, 15% to interconnection exchange (ICX) operators, 20% to Access Network Service (ANS) providers, leaving 6.75% revenue from each call for the retail VSP operators. Despite the Bangladeshi authorities lowering the rate for legal (licensed) VoIP calls to USD0.03, the grey market is flourishing, with the rate for illegally routed calls reportedly at less than USD0.02. The size of the country’s international call market is 60 million-70 million calls per day.
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