Bangladesh parliament recomemded Govt. to open VoIP

April 29th, 2009

[the dailystar reports] A parliamentary body yesterday made some recommendations including opening up of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for increasing government’s revenue earnings from the telecom sector.

The parliamentary standing committee on post and telecommunications ministry proposed withdrawal of Tk 800 tax on SIM card, reducing international call routing charge from 4 cents to 3 cents, zero duty on import of mobile sets valued up to TK 3,000 each and fixing monthly internet charge at Tk 300 for home users.

It also gave proposal for reducing import duty on telecom equipment to 10 to 25 percent from existing 10 to 65 percent in different slabs and also on fixed telecom equipment to 25 percent from existing 45 percent.

Besides, the committee suggested that import duty on landline sets should be brought down to zero from Tk 800.

The committee said if the recommendations are implemented, the government’s yearly earnings from telecom sector will go up to Tk 7,500 crore from existing Tk 6,000 crore.

“The committee has asked the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to explore the technical and legal process immediately to legalise the use of VoIP,” Hasanul Haq Inu, chairman of the standing committee, told journalists after a meeting of the committee at the parliament building.

The BTRC has also been asked to submit a report to the ministry concerned detailing the ways of opening up the VoIP, he said.

The telecom watchdog last year permitted three private international gateways (IGWs) to handle international calls generated to and from Bangladesh.

But the number of calls made through illegal VoIP could not be stopped because of uncompetitive pricing. The IGWs operators claimed that over 40 percent international calls are handled by illegal VoIP operators due to irrational pricing.

Legal international call handlers now charge 4 cents a minute, which hovers between 2.5 and 3 cents on the illegal market. The standing committee suggested bringing down the charge to 3 cents.

The BTRC has realised Tk 861.16crore from several mobile and PSTN operators in fine for their involvement in illegal VoIP business.

“We have made three important recommendations to the government that include reducing the charge of international calls through international gateway to 3 cents from 4 cents to increase government revenue,” Inu said.

He said the committee also made a recommendation for increasing the number of IGW operators to six within the next two months.

Inu said the committee strongly recommended that the government withdraw Tk 800 tax on mobile SIM card and also duty on import of PSTN (public switched telephony network) handsets.

Such initiatives will increase number of mobile phone users and help the government generate more revenue, said the committee.

30 Responses to “Bangladesh parliament recomemded Govt. to open VoIP”

  1. Hi, nice posts there :-) thank’s for the interesting information

  2. Weiling says:

    Help me understand…

    Is small-business USE of a US based service like Vonage illegal in Bangladesh? (Not for resale… just for a single business to use over an existing ISP connection in order that the Bangladesh based small business can have a US phone number.)

    Weiling

  3. I Want To Liggal VOIP In Bangladesh.

  4. sohel akther says:

    ligle voip is good for bangladesh and it helps more in small business if it provide us short time.

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  6. Everyday we see in Bangladesh newspaper that several VOIP operators were captured. Everyone must understand the technology has reached to a level, even Bangladesh govt does not allow…these operations can be set from outside Bangladesh, from anywhere. So, like it or not not, govt will loose huge revenue. I suggest, just open the market and let people invest the way way they want…govt. should give infrasturucture support and make a system of how to earn revenue from these operations. Sooner is better.

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  7. Dewan Mahmood says:

    I like Mr. Sheikh Monirl Islam, Opee’s comment. Govt. must give permission to VoIP biz immediately.

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