Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is the only solution to the dropped call menace, outgoing BTRC Chairman Sunil Kanti Bose feels.Once MNP is introduced, mobile users will be able to switch to another service provider without changing existing number and that will force the mobile operators to improve their services, believes Bose, who has served the BTRC for the last three years. Washington-based Engineer Shahjahan Mahmood will now take over as the new chief of the telecoms regulators.“We have tried to solve the problem. Operators have been asked to invest in network optimisation. But we cannot expect that the problem will be resolved entirely,” Bose told journalists on call drops and other service issues on Wednesday.He was interacting with journalists at the BTRC office on his last working day there.Before his stint with BRTC, Bose served as telecoms secretary for four years. “MNP will give options to the users. Subscribers to those operators who will not be able to provide satisfactory service will switch to another service provider.“To retain subscribers, mobile companies will be compelled to improve their services,” he said. The MNP will be introduced in Bangladesh from next year.On the failure and success of his three-year tenure he said, “Whatever I couldn’t do were the failures.”
It was also alleged that during his tenure, many licences were issued on political considerations without proper market evaluation. But he said, “Though many licences were issued, some IIG operators have not been able to start operations yet.”IIG, ICX, IGW and about 1,000 VSP licences were issued by Bose after he took over at the BTRC chairman.During his tenure, IGW Operators Forum (IOF) was established, which had generated a lot of controversy. The forum was accused of causing revenue losses to the government by arbitrarily increasing call rates.Stating that formation of this forum was still being widely discussed, he said, “No permanent decision has been taken yet. The government will have to find a solution to this. But this can be resolved.”
He also suggested that the regulator include advisers representing mobile operators.“It should be ensured that regulator can function with more authority,” he added. On the Robi-Airtel merger move, he said there was no scope for the survival of six operators in Bangladesh.