Saturday, January 14, 2012

Telecommunication sector under threat

The latest news in the telecom sector is "International Terrestrial Cable (ITC) license holders will be allowed/issued International Internet Gateway (IIG) license by default." The ITC license holders have already had meetings with the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication (MoPT) and Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on the matter.

The reason they have shown in issuance of IIG license in their favour is that, as Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited (BTCL) and Mango Teleservices Limited (Mango) are holding both IIG and ITC licenses, if they are not given IIG license then they don't have any valid business case with ITC license only. One may be surprised to know that MoPT and BTRC may be considering such a request.

Issuance of the IIG license to ITC license holders would clearly cause procedural and legal difficulties for which the government/BTRC could come under questioning. If ITC license holders are of the opinion that BTCL and Mango are a threat to their business and they don't have any valid business case with ITC license only, then we may conclude that these five ITC license holders have submitted incorrect/wrong business documents/

feasibility reports without assessing their business risk factors; or they don't have any clear idea regarding ITC business; or BTRC/MoPT have failed to assess bidders properly and awarded these license wrongly. Before bidding, these ITC license holders knew that BTCL as an incumbent would be allowed one ITC license by MoPT/BTRC and Mango, as a prospective bidder for ITC license and as per the ILTDS Policy-2010, would also be awarded ITC license.