ETE 521: TelecommunicationBusiness and ManagementModule 4: Bangladesh’s Telecompolicy: Part II
Commission by Act: A separate autonomousRegulatory Commission under the Ministry of Post &Telecommunications will be established by an Act ofParliament and it may consist of a Chairman and anumber of Members to be appointed by theGovernment. No members of the Commission will befrom among the serving employees or directors of anytelecommunication operator. Part time members mayalso be appointed as and when deemed necessary.
Features of the Commission:(a) Independence: The Regulatory Commissionwill be an autonomous commission which willretain its independence. The head of theCommission as well as the Members will beappointed for a fixed period of time.(b) Transparency: The Commission will betransparent in all its activities to the operators,interested parties engaged intelecommunications, Government agencies andthe people in general. It will ensure equity & fairplay by providing a level playing field for alloperators.
(c) Adaptability : Telecommunication technology isfast advancing and continuously changing. TheCommission will have the ability and obligation toadapt to the changing environment in the sector . (d) Objectivity : The activities of the Commission willbe objective in nature. In the formulation ofregulations, guidelines etc the objective should becompatible to the role as a catalyst making the countrya member of the global telecommunication family.
Functions of Commission : The Primary Functions of the Regulatory Commission are (i) issue operator licenses, (ii) regulation of tariffs, (iii) setting of technical standards (iv) monitoring of service quality and adherence to rules and regulations by the operators (v) management of radio frequency spectrum, (vi) preparation of national numbering scheme, (vii) assistance in preparing routing, charging and transmission plans, (viii) guidance for interconnection between the operators and revenue sharing for inter- operator traffic, (ix) stimulation for investment to facilitate introduction of new services, (x) representation of the country in the international telecommunication bodies1, (xi) setting standards & qualifications for different categories of personnel of all operators based on their services and (xii) any other functions and activities as may be considered necessary by theGovernment
Spectrum Management and Monitoring : the frequencyspectrum, considered to be a valuable resource will be managed inan orderly and equitable manner and will be used as the basis forcreation of complete radio communication network systems. TheCommission will resolve the problem of over- lapping frequency atshared borders of the operators .It will ensure the assignment of frequency bands with theneighbouring countries according to the Table of Frequency givenby ITU. It will also set up Frequency Monitoring Cell and willimpose penalty in case of infringement upon assigned frequenciesor unauthorized use of frequencies. Licensing Procedure: A comprehensive licensing system will bedeveloped to ensure its orderly , efficient and effective application.The issuing of licenses to respondents who are qualified accordingto the set criteria will be carried out through a bidding or an opentender or any other procedure set by the Government .
Inter- connection and Revenue Sharing :Understanding that revenue sharing agreements varywidely in different countries and are never easy toformulate the Government takes the position thatrevenue sharing agreements should be negotiatedbetween carrier and that they will generally be costbased.However, in the event for a dispute between anyparties which are unable to negotiate successfully, theCommission shall consider dispute through hearingand the decisions of the commission shall be finalthough they may be appealed to Government .
Representing the Country: The Commission may attendthe meetings of the regional and internationaltelecommunications bodies, dealing with the questions ofgeneral sectoral policy and participate in framing ofinternational regulations in this field. Protection of Users Interest: The Commission will beresponsible for the supervision of the telecommunicationsservices to ensure that the interests of the users areprotected and balanced. It will also ensure that the interestsof the nation are given priority over other interests. TheCommission will define the mechanism in which the views ofthe operators and the users of the telecommunicationsservices could be periodically obtained. The Commissionmay hold public hearings on important issues of publicinterest.
Enforcement Mechanism: The Regulatory Commission will bevested with definite duties and power to implement the policydecisions and ensure compliance of set rules and procedures. TheCommission will have legal authority to ensure and enforceregulatory measures, keeping in view the national security publicorder and defence of the country.It will monitor implementation of development programmes of andensure operation of telecommunication services by the operatorsin accordance with the provisions of the concerned license. TheCommission will have authority to take punitive actions rangingfrom imposing fine to closure of services against the defaultingoperators. Network Management : Under the Commission a networkmanagement cell will be created to overview the harmonizationand optimization of the networks available and to be developed infuture. It will set network standards, numbering /code plans andprepare network master plan etc. This is imperative in an inter-operator environment .
Service Standard : The Commission will set standardsfor different services within the principles andstandards set by various Regional and InternationalTelecommunication bodies.In this connection, the commission will set standards,qualifications and number of personnel in eachcategory for all operators based on their services.These standards will be binding on all operators.Failure to meet these standards will attract penalaction by the Commission .
Liberalization : In accordance with the overallnational policy, the liberalization of thetelecommunications sector will continue. Theapproach is to encourage a sound and orderlycompetition between the private and public sector aswell as among the various private sector operatorsthemselves to achieve efficient and quality serviceconcentrating initially on the value- added services.However, the Government retains the sole authorityto determine the number of competitors that areeconomically viable for certain services. The strategyis to provide equal and rational opportunities to allcompetitors
International Services: Theinternational services will, however ,be operated exclusively by theGovernment through Bangladesh.Telegraph and Telephone Board or itslawful successor unless other wisedecided by the Government .
Service Obligation : Universalservice obligations for basic telephoneservice will be included in licenses ofall network operators Inter –connections between networks,forming part of the public network,will be mandated in accordance withthe guidelines to be issued by thecommission .
Research and Development : A National Instituteof Research and Development (NIRD) intelecommunications will be established . Theoperators, manufacturers and any other organizationsand persons involved in telecommunications will beencouraged to carry out research and developmentactivities to support local growth and transfer oftechnology. The requirement to carry out R&D will bea part of the conditions under which licenses areissued and at least 1% of the annual expenditureshould be allocated for the purpose.
Human Resource Development : The creation oftrained and skilled manpower in all fields oftelecommunications will be stressed. Alltelecommunications enterprises are encouraged toestablish their own training programs. The need tocrate short, medium and long term plans for thetraining of manpower for all operators is imperative.Efforts must be made to establish a National Institutefor Human Resource Development inTelecommunications (NIHRDT)1 in the country byupgrading the existing Telecommunication StaffCollege of BTTB at Gazipur.
PROMOTION OF LOCALMANUFACTURE: The fact being recognised that telecommunications stand at the leadingedge of technology and in order to strengthen the economic growth, spurtechnology transfer and adapt new technology, local manufacture andassembly of telecommunications equipments will be encouraged andgeared up for local consumption and competition in the external market. The use of local products of acceptable standard and competitive price isto be made obligatory through regulations for all the service providers.Moreover, incentives will also be provided to encourage growth of thelocal telecommunications industry . The already functioning two large factories namely Telephone ShilphaSangstha (TSS) , at Tongi and Bangladesh Cable Shilpha (BCS) Ltd. atKhulna, will be vital launching pads to embark upon large scaleinvolvement in the manufacturing field. However appropriate plans for modernization and diversification ofproducts in these two factories need to be implemented as soon aspossible. In this regard, joint collaboration1 with reputed manufacture(s)as already exists (exist) or by induction of new ones, will be taken intoconsideration. The Government will also consider the privatization of TSSand BCS.
THE ACTS ONTELECOMMUNICATIONS: There are, in the country, a number of Acts which govern andregulate various telecommunications activities like thetelecommunications between two points, audio broadcasting ofradio messages or programs for the specified group of peopleor the public in general and telecasting of simultaneous audio –visual programs. The Telegraph Act 1885 ,The Wireless Act 1933 , The RadioBroadcasting Act 1975 and 1992 and The TelevisionBroadcasting Act 1965 which regulate these activities may beconsidered for a combined Telecommunication Act applicablefor all the allied services of telecommunications . While acknowledging the freedom of information as animportant element of the modern World, the new Act mayinclude restrictions to communications and broadcasts whichare regarded as incompatible to the national security andharmful to the society.
CONCLUSION : This National Telecommunications Policy is a summarystatement of the philosophy, objectives, strategies and themethodology to ensure equitable and judicious execution ofthe business of telecommunications in the country .However, the Government may from time to time makechanges, modifications, additions to the policy and mayreview the policy at certain intervals for updating andsatisfying the need of the time. The general guideline embodied in this policy documentemphasizes faster development of telecommunicationsnetwork coupled with improved quality of service in linewith the national development, thereby fulfilling the visionand aspiration to take Bangladesh to a position of honour inthe comity of nations in the 21st century.
INTERNATIONAL LONG DISTANCETELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES(ILDTS) POLICY-2007
POLICY OBJECTIVES: ILDTS Policy is formulated to achieve the followingobjectives: Uphold subscribers’ interest. Provide low costinternational telecommunication services using moderntechnologies. Encourage local businesses and enterprises intelecommunication sector. Ensure healthy and motivating revenue to allstakeholders, service providers and other relatedentities. Stop foreign currency siphoning and money laundering. Ensure proper revenue earning of the government. Ensure national security and protect national interest. Encourage Next Generation Network (NGN) Technology.
VOICE SERVICES: Network Topology Network architecture shall be based on three layers withappropriate equipment and technologies. The first layer is the IGW. IGWs will be connected withsubmarine cable network and with ICX only. IGWs willhave Satellite Earth Station or VSAT as backup untilalternative submarine cable(s) are available. The second layer is the ICX. ICXs will be connected withIGWs and Access Network Service (ANS) operators. The third layer is the ANS operators who provideservices to end users directly. This layer is to ensure theconnectivity between the ICXs and the subscribers.
VOICE SERVICES: InternationalGateways (IGW) There shall be 3 (three) IGWs in addition to BTTB IGW. There shallbe 3 (three) IGW operators in addition to BTTB. Location of the 3 (three) new IGWs will be at Dhaka. IGWs will have primary backbone connection towards internationalnetwork through SEA–ME-WE-4 submarine cable or through othersubmarine cables whenever available. IGWs will have backup connectivity through Satellite EarthStation/VSAT until the availability of alternative submarine cable(s). IGWs will have physical connections with ICXs. ICXs will developand maintain interconnection facilities to connect the IGWs to ICXsand ICXs to ANS operators via their POPs. IGWs will provide international voice call services including VoIPtermination and origination. IGW operators will arrange end-to-end service level agreements andwill negotiate tariff with overseas carriers for call origination andtermination by themselves. Agreed tariff will be vetted by BTRC.
VOICE SERVICES:Interconnection Exchange (ICX) Initially there shall be 6 (six) ICXs in addition to BTTB ICXs. There shall be 2 (two) ICX Operators each having 3 ICXs in addition to BTTB. Each ICX Operators will have one ICX in Dhaka and two more ICXs in two of the followingcities namely Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet and Bogra. Distribution/allocation of ICX site tothe Operators will be done by BTRC. Depending on traffic volume and to allow more ruralpeople to be connected with the network more ICXs will be setup under BTRC guidance infuture. ICXs will have physical connections with IGWs at Dhaka. All ICXs will be interconnected at their own arrangement, either through existing backboneor by establishing new backbone networks where such networks are not available. International incoming and outgoing voice calls including VoIP will be routed through ICXs. ICXs will route/switch domestic inter operators telecommunication services. All ANSoperators must interconnect through ICXs. ICXs will serve as the Point of Presence (POP) for the neighbouring areas. All ICX operatorsshall make necessary provisions for the ANS operators to connect at their POPs. ICXs should support number portability, International Mobile Equipment Identification(IMEI) number, ENUM and other Next Generation Network (NGN) services as and whenrequired.
VOICE SERVICES: Access Network ANS operators under each ICX POPshall at their own arrangement beconnected to their respective ICXPOPs through opticalfiber/wire/wireless means. All ANS operators under each POParea shall be connected to the ICXs ofthat area for regional inter operatortraffic transactions.
DATA SERVICES:Network Topology Network architecture shall be based on twolayers with appropriate equipments andtechnologies. The first layer is the International InternetGateway (IIG) and National Internet Exchange (NIX). It will be connectedwith submarine cable network and ANSoperator. IIGs will have Satellite Earth Station orVSAT as backup until the availability ofalternative submarine cable(s). The second layer is the ANS operators. Thislayer is to ensure the connectivity between theIXs and the end users for data services.
DATA SERVICES:InternetExchange (IX) Initially there shall be 2 (Two) IXs under one operator in addition to existing IXs. Location of the IXs will be at Dhaka and Chittagong. Depending on traffic volumeand to allow more rural people to be connected with the network more IXs will be setup under BTRC guidance in future. All IXs will be interconnected at their own arrangement, either through existingbackbone or by establishing new backbone networks where such networks are notavailable. International incoming and outgoing data services will be routed through IIG part ofIXs. However, the Internet-based non business voice traffic should not exceed thelimit decided by BTRC. NIX part of IXs will route domestic inter operators data services. IXs shall make necessary provisions to connect the ANS operators to provide dataservices to the subscribers. IIGs will have backup connectivity through Satellite Earth Station/VSAT until the availability of alternative submarine cable(s).
Access Network ANS operators under each IX shall attheir own arrangement be connected tothe IX through optical fiber / wire/wireless / VSAT HUB means.
IP TELEPHONY To provide easy and affordable telecommunicationservices to the common people of the country bypromoting and using latest technology, IP Telephonyshould be introduced. It will help to sustain already grown youngentrepreneurs and to grow more such entrepreneursin the rural areas thereby solving unemploymentproblem to a great extent. BTRC will issue necessary guidelines and licenses forintroducing IP Telephony services in the country.
LICENSES: BTRC will issue the following categoryof Licenses. IGW Operator License. ICX Operator License. IX Operator License. IP Telephony License.
VSAT: Indiscriminate use of VSAT has been one of the means ofconducting unauthorized VoIP call businesses. As such it iscrucial to control unauthorized usages of VSAT. VSAT willnot be allowed for voice services except IGWs. VSATconnected to IXs will be allowed for data communicationonly. All domestic VSAT HUBs must be connected to the IX. Nonew VSAT licenses will be issued and the existing VSATs willremain operative until the IX ensures backup connectivityby VSAT. VSATs other than the IX operator will gradually bewithdrawn under the guideline of BTRC. BTRC will review existing VSAT HUB licenses and issueadditional licenses if necessary. BTRC will take strongmeasures to curb unauthorized VoIP call business withVSAT.
MONITORING AND NATIONALSECURITY: IGWs, ICXs, IXs, ANS, IP Telephony and VSAT HUB operatorsnecessary connections including necessary equipment andsoftware to BTRC for online and off line monitoring. IGWs, ICXs, IXs, ANS and IP Telephony operators will provideRecord (CDR) and/or any other monitoring facilities of voice foron-line and off-line monitoring by BTRC. IGWs, ICXs, IXs, ANS, IP Telephony and VSAT HUB operatorsaccess to Law Enforcing Agency (LEA) for lawful InterceptionBangladesh Telecommunication Act, 2001 (as amended) includingequipment and software. BTRC will establish monitoring center at submarine cable landingneeded. Monitoring facilities will be established by respective operatorsdata communication using IPLC. IPLC Monitoring facilitiesextended to BTRC and LEA for on-line and off-line monitoringnecessary equipment and software by respective operators.
CONCLUSION: The accelerated pace of technological developmentcontinuously increases alternative options for better andaffordable services for the public. To keep up with the rapidly changing advances, it has beenascertained that stateowned enterprises alone do not havethe required flexibility to cope up with mounting demands. The policy provisions will empower private sector, increasecompetition and reduce the disparity of access tointernational long distance telecommunication services anddomestic interconnection services. Superior telecommunications environment is believed tohelp eliminate infrastructure bottlenecks and promotegrowth in the commercial and industrial sectors as well. The government is devoted and determined in acceleratingmomentous progress of our promising TelecommunicationSector.