BTRC chief: Coordination key to turning things around in telecom

A lot of work has been done in the telecom sector, but a great deal of work remains to be done, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder said on Sunday.

He was addressing the online discussion “Mobile Communication in Bangladesh: Challenges of the Future” jointly organised by the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (Amtob) and Daffodil International University (DIU).

BTRC Chairman also said coordination is necessary among the stakeholders including, the BTRC, mobile network operators, transmission network operators, and tower companies to improve the situation.

Dr Md Sabur Khan – chairman, Board of Trustees at DIU – said: “Coordination or linkage is necessary between industry and educational institutions. We have a lot of talented graduates. They have the potential to revolutionise the technology sector. But due to a lack of coordination between these two sectors, we cannot use them properly.”

Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, Robi’s chief executive officer and managing director, said: “The consumer tax in Bangladesh’s mobile sector is higher than all the other sectors. If a customer spends Tk100 on a mobile service, Tk53 goes to various types of taxes and Tk20 is spent on availing various services from other licencees in the sector.”

“Corporate tax is as high as 45% and even if a mobile operator does not make any business profit, it has to pay a 2% turnover tax. The tax structure needs to be reformed and unified licencing needs to be enacted so that mobile operators can provide more types of services,” Mahtab, also Amtob president, said.

Ericsson Bangladesh Country Manager Abdus Salam said, “New tax is being imposed on the telecommunications sector every year to the surprise of the stakeholders.”

“Too many licences have created a complex ecosystem that is affecting the quality of service. The recent radiofrequency auction has been highly transparent, which has been praised by our colleagues in neighbouring countries. But much more spectrum is required for good quality of service.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh