BTRC lifts four SMP conditions imposed on GrameenPhone

21 Mar 2019

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has withdrawn the four conditions it imposed on leading mobile operator GrameenPhone (GP) in February 2019 after the cellco challenged their legality at the High Court, The Daily Star writes. Following the adoption of the Significant Market Power Regulations in November 2018, GP was declared as holding Significant Market Power (SMP) in two categories (subscribers and revenue), with the operator accounting for 46.33% of the country’s active customer base in 2018, while its revenue share has been more than 50% for several years. In February 2019 the operator was asked to implement four restrictions, which include a ban on signing any exclusive deals with goods and service providers and a ban on nationwide ad campaigns marketing its dominance. GP was also required to reduce its call drop rate to less than 2%, while subscribers wishing to switch their mobile provider will be required to stay with GP for only 30 days (90 days for other operators).

The regulator has now drafted a list of 20 new SMP restrictions, with GP given 15 days to comment on the document. The proposed areas of regulations are: asymmetric mobile termination rates (MTRs), cross subsidy, mobile number portability (MNP) lock-in period, spectrum pricing, infrastructure sharing, exclusivity, loyalty campaign, product and service approval process/automatic approval of retail tariffs of non-SMP operators, social obligation fund, voice tariff, data floor price, parallel pricing or ante approval of retail tariffs, green technology or renewable energy, merger and acquisition threshold, corporate social responsibility, number of products, quality of service (QoS), revenue sharing and market communication.

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