Friday, June 21, 2024

3 mobile cos cut price, one seeks time

 INTERNET PRICE
3 mobile cos cut price, one seeks time
Three mobile phone companies have reduced the internet price by 25 per cent while one sought further time after the telecom regulator asked them to slash mobile internet price by June 30.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission officials said Banglalink, Robi and Airtel had reduced the mobile internet price to Tk 0.015 per kilobyte from previous Tk 0.02 per kilobyte.
They said Grameenphone, the largest mobile phone operator in the country, requested for a 15-day extension to comply with the price cut directive.
‘The three operators have already taken approval of the new tariff and the GP asked for time extension which the commission will consider,’ said a BTRC official.
Among the six operators, state-owned Teletalk got reduced tariff from the other operators and Citycell does not provide P1 package as it is not a GSM operator, he said.
The price cut of mobile internet came following repeated protests in last month by the information and communications technology-related organisations which demanded the price should be Tk 0.10 for 1MBps and Tk 10 for 1GBps.
A delegation of protesters met the BTRC high-ups in early June and placed their demands. They also organised various sit-in programme including one in front of the BTRC building on June 12.
According to the draft amendment to the joint directive of 2010, the commission reduced in phases the internet bandwidth price to as low as Tk 8,000 a megabyte in 2012, which was Tk 72,000 in 2004, but the mobile phone operators continued to charge P1 package subscribers at the same rate for the last eight years.
It said the mobile phone operators should cut down the price of internet package by half from Tk 0.02 a kilobyte.
In response to the protest the BTC called the mobile phone operators and asked them to reduce the price by June 30 but did not specify the rate of the cut.
The operators reduced the price considering their capacity of handling the additional traffic due to the price cut, said an official of a mobile company.
When asked why GP did not maintain the BTRC deadline to reduce the internet price the company told New Age that it needed more time as it would launch internet facility with added features with reduced price.
‘Grameenphone is already in the development process towards making its Pay as you Go (P1) package even more affordable and user friendly for its valued customers. Beyond just tariff reduction, Grameenphone will be incorporating best in class product features to completely eliminate bill shock for the customers who use such ‘no use no pay’ internet packages. In order to integrate such advance features along with the tariff reduction Grameenphone has requested time extension to BTRC to go live by the 15 July,’ said the company in the email reply.

-With New Age input

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