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Monday, December 11, 2023

BTRC yet to enforce operator compliance with QoS

The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is yet to implement the instructions that are necessary to ensure the quality of services for mobile phone operators, in spite of the directive of the Prime Minister’s ICT affairs adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy in this regard.

Recently, Joy directed mobile phone operators to ensure the quality of service (QoS).

He also asked the telecom ministry and the BTRC to identify the limitations and accordingly take necessary measures to meet the service quality standards.

Posts, telecommunications and information technology minister Mustafa Jabbar, however, said government was working to ensure QoS and no negligence would be tolerated.

In February 2018, Shahjahan Mahmood, then chairman of the BTRC, had said the quality of service guideline had been finalised. But the guideline is yet be implemented, though four months have passed.

The telecom regulatory body, however, shared a graph of the implementation process on the BTRC website, where it is mentioned that the BTRC is in the process of finalising the QoS standards for the operators. The performance of service providers against the QoS benchmarks is to be reported to the BTRC through a monthly monitoring report in the first week of every month.

The BTRC may publish a summary of this report on its website.

The BTRC may, if required, direct any of its staff members or an agency appointed by the commission to inspect or audit the records maintained by the operators against each parameter under the QoS directive. It can also get such records inspected or audited to ensure compliance with the provisions of the directive at any time.

The BTRC, if necessary, may cross-check the reports given by the operators by its own benchmarking tools or terminals. An administrative fine and legal action may be imposed and taken for the violation of any of the provisions of the QoS directive.

Earlier, Sajeeb Wazed Joy had expressed his displeasure at a meeting with the Posts and Telecommunications Division, ICT Division, and the BTRC.

Mobile phone operators, however, told the PM’s ICT affairs adviser that they were not solely responsible for the sub-standard service quality. “The operators just provide network services. We have to depend on a third party for optical fibre, bandwidth, spectrum, energy and other issues relating to the QoS,” said a representative of these operators at the meeting.

The high price of spectrum was a big obstacle, they had pointed out.

“We will provide spectrum at a lower price,” the PM’s ICT affairs adviser had said, adding that the price of spectrum would be reduced.

“Operators have to take it in the form of packages. If they buy more packages, the prices will be lower. But they have to pay the present market price if they purchase just 1 MHZ of spectrum,” Joy said.

Earlier, in April, the BTRC finalised a new set of regulations under which the telecom and Internet service providers will have to pay a penalty for non-compliance with the service standards set by the regulator.

In the regulation, the BTRC has declared a minimum 7Mbps Internet speed for fourth generation (4G) data service as the standard. The maximum rate for call drop has been set at 2 per cent while the call setup success rate should remain above 97 per cent, according to the new parameter.


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