1ETE 521:TelecommunicationBusiness and ManagementModule 3: Bangladesh’s Telecom policy: Part IFaculty: Dr. M. Rokonuzzamanzaman.email@example.comReference material: National Telecom Policy, 1998
2Purpose of Policy? In order to develop a national soundtelecommunication infrastructure to supportthe economy and welfare of the country byproviding telecommunication facilities ondemand, assuring satisfactory quality ofservice and ensuring value to the customers ,a sound National Telecommunication Policyis essential.
3Objective? The objective of the policy is to ensure theorderly development of thetelecommunications sector through theprovision of services in all the areas of thecountry, to satisfy the unserviced demand fortelecommunications and to provide equitableopportunity and competition amongst theservice providers.
4Vision: The Strategic Vision of the Government is to facilitateUniversal Telephone Service throughout the countryand where there is a demand, all those value addedservices such as cellular mobile telephone paging,data services, access to Internet (including electronicmail), Voice mail and video conferencing – all at anaffordable cost without compromising performance. To achieve the Vision, Government’s role as aservice provider will diminish as the private sector’srole increases. The Government’s objective will be tocreate a new policy environment to support this newscenario.
6Exchange of Information : The freedom for exchange of information isrecognized as an important element ofhuman rights and efforts are to be made toprovide people with greater access to allinformation except the ones that areconsidered harmful to the society, prejudicialto national interest and security.
7Promotion of National Integration: Telecommunications are to promote nationalintegration and to safeguard the social andcultural fabric of the nation by directing theexpected influence of the technology towardsthe greater benefit of the society.
8Universal Access: Access to and delivery of a full range ofmodern, sophisticated, efficient and costeffective services of both basic as well asvalue added telecommunications are to beprovided to as many people as iseconomically and socially justifiable to ensureuniversal access
9Digitalization: Replace of all analogue switching equipmentby the year 2002 and analogue transmissionequipment by 2005 . This will improve existing and potentialtelecommunications service for both basicand value added services. In addition to improving the quality andreliability of the telecommunicationsinfrastructure, full digitalization will facilitate aquicker and easier interface mechanism forall private and public operators.
10Competitive Framework: Creation of an environment of competition inthe field of telecommunications enhancingrapid development in volume, efficiency andaccessibility , shall be ensured to maketelecom services available within theaffordable limit of the general users.
11Market Oriented Regime: Telecommunications Services are to beefficiently and cost- effectively provided inparticular fields, to be decided by theGovernment from time to time, byestablishing market oriented regime,appropriate sets of regulations, standards,procedures, conditions and investmentclimate & competition.
12Users Choice: Development of telecommunications facilitiesand services shall be user friendly. The usersshall have multiple choices for access tonetworks & markets of different services,systems and carriers at a competitive andreasonable price.
13Private Sector Development: The Government has opened thetelecommunications market to the private sector. The Government acknowledges the private sector’sincreasing resolve and ability to meet the growthdemands of the country, as well as the fact that theprivate sector will become a much stronger force intelecommunications development in the comingyears. The Government will provide all assistance to makethe private sector more vibrant and robust in keepingwith their anticipated role in the coming years.
14Resource Mobilization: Resources to the sector are to be maximized through participationof both public and private entrepreneurs in operating the services inareas where it is economically and socially justified. Efforts shall be geared up and coordinated to create an investmentclimate to help optimization of resources from both national andinternational sources. Local : Local resources may be mobilized through ADPAllocation, domestic private investment , issue ofTelecommunication Bonds, allocating a part of the revenueearnings, Bank Loans etc. Foreign: Investment from sources outside the country may bearranged through Suppliers Credit, joint Ventures,BLT/BOT/BOO agreement etc., in addition to the usual loansand grants from international organizations as well as throughbilateral agreements with other countries in conformity with theindustrial policy of the Government.
15Liberalized Tariff Policy: Tariff polices are to be liberalized with regardto the area or the service ,from time to time,in certain market segments and efforts are tobe continued to encourage extension ofmaximum service at minimum cost withparticular emphasis in supporting theindustrialization efforts of the country .
16Access to New Technology: Research and development activities to facilitate theabsorption of new technology and to upgrade thefacilities and services in telecommunications are tobe encouraged and the regional cooperation intelecommunication sector is to be enhanced throughcommon development and operational strategies andnetwork standards Continuous updating ofinformation on new and latest technology andtransfer of the same for the benefit of the users’ shallbe encouraged.
17Private Sector Investment: The Government will achieve a more vigorousdevelopment through intensified privatesector participation, encouraged by theenabling environment created by theGovernment; a more proactivetelecommunications industry responsive tousers’ needs and creation of an environmentwith healthier competition & more significantmulti-operator participation, all of whichaccelerate the reality of universal service.
18Foreign Investment: Foreign investors are encouraged todemonstrate their commitment to Bangladeshby forming joint ventures with local companiesand within the telecommunications sector. Government will consider equity participationof up to 100% of the overall shareholdings ofthe telecommunications operating company .
19Implementation Strategy: Government with the participation of the public and privatesectors, intends to meet its goals and objectives through acombination of policy – related technical and financial strategies. It will ensure that the present inadequate infrastructure isalleviated through the formulation of competition andperformance standards. While supporting the private sector as the engine of growth it willcontinue to support BTTB in the short to medium term as theGovernment, assumes its just role as policy maker, regulator andfacilitator. The Government objective is to see an orderly transition from amonopolistic to a multi- operator environment
20 Human Resource Development: Human resourcedevelopment being in tandem with the need of thetelecommunications sector, standards andqualifications for different categories of personnel of alloperators are to be set based on their services. Defense and Security: Defense and security interestsof the country are to be protected. Information Technology: The role of the technologiesof telecommunications and computers which arebecoming increasingly interdependent of andcomplementary to each other, leading to the age ofinformation technology is to be acknowledged andencouraged for the benefit of the nation.
21 Local Manufacturing: Promotion of localmanufacture of viable telecommunications equipmentwill be encouraged to meet the local and regionaldemand and a vision to compete in internationalmarkets in near future is to be inculcated. 3.17 Regulatory Framework: Assignment,monitoring and management of radio frequencyspectrum is to be conducted in an effective, fairrational and equitable manner. Telecommunicationnetwork standards & their management should becompatible with international standards.
22 Protection of users Interest and ServiceStandards: Protection of the users’ interests shall beensured regarding the services provided,facilities offered, technology used and pricescharged.
24 The National Telecommunication Policy willact as a catalyst towards the growth anddevelopment of telecommunications in thecountry with a view to producing a modern,balanced and dynamic society. The policy measures are designed to achievea range of benefits which include but notnecessarily limited to the tasks of increasingthe number of telephones in a systematic andcomprehensive manner.
25TARGETS: Telephone Penetration: (a) Teledensity (Short Term) : The presentteledensity of the country is about 0.4telephone for every 100 persons. The target ofexpansion of telephone penetration is fixed at1,300,000 line, units including associatedinland and overseas transmission links andfacilities by the year 2000 in order tosubstantially eliminate the unserviced demandand increase the teledensity from 0.4telephone to 1 telephone for every 100persons.
26 (b). Accessibility upto Village Level: Theaim will be to lay emphasis on the efforts toupgrade the semi-urban and ruraltelecommunication facilities and make thetelecommunication services with the latesttechnology available in phases to all theThanas, Unions, Growth Centers andultimately to the Villages by the year 2005 . The private sector operators who are licensedfor the purpose will contribute all their effortstowards this end.
27 (c) Teledensity (Mid Term): Raising the penetrationto telephones for every 100 persons by the year 2010is to be achieved through increase in basictelecommunications facilities, expansion of existingnetworks and provision of new ones. (d) Teledensity ( Long Term) : Short and mid termtargets are to be reviewed at regular intervals forrealistic target setting. Teledensity is to be 10 telephones per 100 populationwithin the first quarter of 21st century. However, this will include value added services andGMPCS ( Global Mobile Personal Communication bySatellite) and other new services.
28Future Telecom Services: Role of Public and Private Sector Operators: Telecom sector needs rapid expansion to meet theunmet demands for telecom services. Public and private operators are to work as partners todevelop telecommunications in the country . The present status is that eight operators are inoperation/licensed to develop and operate telecomservices. Out of them, one is in public sector – BTTB, the largestone having basic telecom services , transmission andinternational network; others are private operatorslicensed to provide to basic telephone services in ruralareas and value added services all over the country .
29 Through the co-operation of the operators under the guidelinesset by the Government the telecom infrastructure of the countryis to be built up. For that short, mid and long term services andservice areas are defined: Short Term : In the short term perspective the operators willcontinue to consolidate & develop up to the year 2000 intheir respective fields for which they have licenses. BTTB will upgrade its trunking and transmissionnetwords/links (both inland and overseas) to meet theincreasing interconnection demands of its own & privateoperators. Besides, it will continue its expansionprogrammes in its areas to meet the growing and unmetdemands for telephone lines. Furthermore , the Government reserves the right to licenseadditional operators if appropriate and if needed, takemeasure to open basic telecommunication services to theprivate sector operating entities.
30 Mid-Term: On the basis of the performance of theprivate operators in the short term period, moreservice areas are to be opened up for privateparticipation in basic telephone and long distancenetworks after the year 2000 or earlier. (c) Long- Term: As a long term strategy,development of telecom infrastructure and services inall the fields are to be opened up for privateparticipation after the year 2010 and if needed , thiscan be opened up earlier than the year 2010. Theabove time frame and targets, however, are to bereviewed by the Government at the end of year 2000.
31 Information Infrastructure: An integrated andreliable transmission network that covers the entirecountry and is capable of providing voice, video, dataand imaging services will be ensured. The network may include fiber optic, radio and alsosatellite systems. The aim is to create the National InformationInfrastructure (NII) and integrate it through theInformation Super Highway to the Global InformationInfrastructure ( GII ) thereby creating the potential toenter the global market for information processing.
32 International Network: Continuous efforts will bemade to expand the network for international trafficthrough terrestrial radio, submarine cables andsatellite systems Reliance on more than one networkand system will be encouraged to ensure fall-backalternative facilities in times of need. More active andexpanded participation in programmes/activitiesorganized or sponsored by the regional andinternational telecommunications agencies andbodies is to be pursued to uphold the interest of thecountry in the international arena.
33 New Services: New services that are alreadydeveloped or will be developed in future shallcontinue to be introduced in the country onthe basis on the basis of market surveys andusers’ needs and satisfaction. Master Plan: A Master Plan will be preparedfor expansion and development oftelecommunication services in the country sothat Bangladesh can reap full benefits ofinformation technology revolution.