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15 February, 2018 01:09:06 AM

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Now, ensure quality of services

Mustafa Jabbar tells telcos
Staff Reporter
Now, ensure quality of services

The government will allow no leeway to the country’s telecom operators when it comes to ensuring the quality of service (QoS), senior officials told The Independent after the 4G spectrum auction held on Tuesday.

In telecommunication, QoS refers to a complex set of parameters. In layman’s terms, these basically translate into the quality of voice and data services a subscriber enjoys from a telecom operator.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has received a number of customer complaints in recent times about the QoS of the four telecom operators of the country.

The operators have pleaded that with spectrum shortage and without tech neutrality, ensuring QoS for subscribers has become an uphill task for them.

However, Grameenphone and Banglalink acquired new spectrum at Tuesday’s auction and got the tech neutrality provision that only Robi enjoyed so far.

So, the regulator and the ministry concerned have decided to not give any elbowroom to telecom operators with respect to QoS.

Mustafa Jabbar, the minister for post, telecommunication and information technology, told The Independent that the ministry will accept no excuse from the telecom operators now.

“They (the telcos) wanted more spectrum and tech neutrality; they have got it. Now, they must ensure QoS for subscribers,” he said.

Jabbar argued that common people pay the telcos for their service. “If you take money against a service, it’s your duty to make sure the service is of top quality,” he asserted.

However, BTRC chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood expressed his dissatisfaction with the amount of spectrum sold in the auction.

After the BTRC floated the notice for the auction, four telcos expressed their interest in taking part in it. But ultimately, only two did.

The state-owned Teletalk refused to apply to take part in the auction and Robi only paid for tech neutrality. Grameenphone took 5MHz from only the 1800 band, while Banglalink took 10.6 MHz spectrum from the 2100 and 1800 bands.

Mahmood feared that with the current spectrum, the telecom operators “will not be able to ensure QoS”.

He explained that with one megahertz of spectrum, a mobile operator in Bangladesh serves 10 to 15 times the number of customers a telco in Malaysia or Germany does.

Grameenphone serves 20 lakh people with one megahertz of spectrum, Banglalink serves 16 lakh, and Robi serves 12 lakh. On the other hand, Malaysian telecom operator Axiata serves only 1.86 lakh people with one megahertz. Maxis, another Malaysian telco, serves 2 lakh people with one megahertz, Mahmood pointed out.

In Germany, Vodafone serves only 2.2 lakh people with one megahertz, he said, adding that the Bangladeshi telcos should have bought more spectrum to ensure QoS.

Mobile operators, however, believe that they will be able to ensure QoS with their acquired capacity. “We will not compromise on customer experience when we launch 4G,” said Michael Foley, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Grameenphone.

Robi CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed claimed that with their current spectrum and tech neutrality provision, they will give “better service than any other operator in the market”.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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