BTRC invites application for VoIP license

The telecom regulator has invited applications for much talked about VoIP license to encourage thelocal entrepreneurs invest more in the country's telecommunication sector, said officials.

The regulator - Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) - has posted the final VoIP guideline and license application notice on its website on Sunday. The license will be issued under the name of "VoIP service Provider (VSP)", they added.

The government has taken the initiative of issuing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) license last year to stop illegal VoIP business, which has been causing huge revenue losses to the country every year.

However, the guideline did not mention how many licenses would be provided for this telecom business.

"The posts and telecommunications ministry would finalize the number of licenses to be issued," BTRC Chairman Major General (retd) Zia Ahmed told BSS.

He said the commission already issued 82 gateway licenses, so the number of VoIP license should be put on limit as allowing too many operators would reduce their scope of making profit and generating revenue.

The government is giving the license to provide people with easy and affordable telecommunication services by introducing and promoting VoIP and next generation technology, Ahmed added.

Telecom secretary Sunil Kanti Bose earlier told BSS that the
number of VSP license would be depended on the number of applications as well as the activities of gateway license holders'.

Officials said the Legal and Licensing department of the
regulator will receive application from the interested person or
companies for the VoIP license from 2 September 2 to September 6.

The regulator would scrutinize the applications and the ministry would finally the list of the qualified applicants, they added.

Earlier, the government planned to issue around 3,000 VSP licenses to stop the illegal VoIP business, but it changed the decision against the backdrop of issuing 82 gateway licenses for
international call transmission, which would be too much considering the country's size.

In the guideline, the application fee for VSP has been fixed
at Taka 5,000, license fee at Taka 5 lakh and annual license fee
at Taka one lakh. The guideline said license holding companies
have to share 10 percent of their total revenue with the

BTRC sources said the country receives nearly 4 crore minutes international call a day. Besides, around 1 crore minutes are transmitted illegally everyday.

In the wake of myriad illegal call transmission, the government is losing Taka 5 crore revenue every day as the government gets three cents from per international incoming call.

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