Move to fix mobile data price in the offing

Hitlar A Halim
Published : 07:45, Oct 04, 2018 | Updated : 12:35, Oct 04, 2018

Move to fix mobile data price in the offingAfter setting floor and ceiling for mobile calls, the government is considering a similar move for data service.
“We are trying to set the maximum and minimum rate for internet packages. So, no (mobile operator) can charge more,” Telecoms Minister Mustafa Jabbar told Bangla Tribune.
He, however, said that it would take some time.
“You can expect a good news between November and December,” he said.
Explaining on how the price going to be fixed, the minister said they are using ‘cost modelling’ method to determine ‘standard prices’.
The Telecommunication Division is now monitoring the trend for short-term data plans offered by operators.
Usually, data remain unused when users chose for data plans valid for one or two days.
According to people familiar with the matter, the department plans to impose a cap on the validity for data plans.
Minister Jabbar said they were mulling the option. “Our initiative aims to provide the users with good experience.”
As mobile number portability (MNP) rolled out on Oct 1, the operators will now offer new data prices within two weeks, which the minister said will be comparatively lower than the previous packages.
Internet service providers (ISPs), however, said lowering mobile operators’ data prices will not affect them.
“We have already reduced the prices of broadband connections and increased the speed,” said Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) General Secretary Imdadul Haque.
Prices of bandwidth have dropped from Tk 72,000 in 2007 to Tk 600 in 2018 per mbps, which hardly had any impact on the end users.
The IPS’s lowered the prices after the ministry had assured a rebate on the VAT imposed for buying bandwidth, which Haque said was yet to come into effect.
He claimed that no rebate on VAT for international internet gateway (IIG) and nationwide telecommunication transmission network (NTTN) has hiked ISPs’ cost by 20 percent in addition to ISPs charging 5 percent VAT on internet.
If this continues quality of service is bound to fall, which will untimely affect end users, said Haque.