Telecoms Reform in Bangladesh Would Yield Major Benefits
Bangladesh's telecommunications regulation needs wide-ranging reforms if the world's seventh most populous country is to realise the full social and economic benefits that flow from the widespread use of mobile phones, according to a study by economics consultancy CRA International and law firm Gilbert + Tobin for the GSM Association.
Among the study's main recommendations: Bangladesh needs to dismantle its international gateway monopoly, which makes international calls hard to complete and excessively expensive, strengthen its telecommunications regulator so that it can more efficiently allocate spectrum and issue licenses for 3G mobile services before the third-quarter of 2008.
"There is extensive evidence that the widespread use of mobile phones can boost economic growth, raise living standards and reduce poverty," said Tom Phillips, Chief Government & Regulatory Affairs Officer of the GSMA. "This report sets out the short-term and long-term steps Bangladesh needs to take to enable mobile telecommunications to realise its full potential to increase the efficiency of the domestic economy, as well as improving Bangladeshi citizens and businesses' access to global markets."
Boosting the capacity of the existing international gateway, which is run by state-owned BTTB, and then opening this market up to other companies, is particularly urgent, as the study found the current situation is imposing a substantial economic cost on Bangladesh. The existing monopoly limits communications between Bangladesh's businesses and their international customers and between Bangladesh's consumers and relatives and friends in other countries. The study found that dismantling the monopoly would lead to a major rise in call volumes and a 125% increase in government revenues from international gateway services in 2008.
Another priority identified by the study is to give adequate funding and budget authority to Bangladesh's telecommunications regulator, BTRC, to enable it to act independently and acquire and retain appropriate expertise, particularly in the vital areas of spectrum management and license enforcement. The study found the current licensing regime allocates spectrum in an inefficient way and some of the country's mobile operators don't have sufficient spectrum to enable them to provide services to more Bangladeshis.
Article By Cellular News
Tags: Bangladesh , ICT , Telecommunication
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.