Systems & Services (SS) is an important division of BTRC. The regular activities of this division are to approve new services and tariff of new and existing services & value added services. This is to monitor the market communication & promotional activities for maintaining a bilateral relationship and to communicate with the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications (MoPT) and other government organizations/offices. Besides, SS division maintains bilateral relationships & communicates with not only the telecommunication license holding entities but also with ICT related non-governmental and International organizations & offices. It also arranges the support and protects the rights of new service providers and provides the nation-wide dissemination of important SMS on national interests. It also arranges counseling & dispute settlement among telecommunication license holders, vendors, third party service providers and customers through maintaining a complaining center.
In addition, this division performs various specialized activities for the Commission like promoting a competitive market for telecommunication service providers, bringing out instructions and guidelines, initiation of new services and ensuring a amicable atmosphere, etc., for the investors. BTRC is the focal point for organizations like International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT), Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO), and International Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) and Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) in Bangladesh, where SS Division represents BTRC.
The important activities of SS division are discussed below:
a. Service & Tariff approval:
This division works for ensuring the best performance of the telecommunication sector, to create space for the new technology, to automate the life style & to introduce various new value added services for the customer to increase their satisfaction. Telecom operators have heightened their standard to the international level by extending various value added services beyond their basic services. In recent times, many 3rd party service providers have come forward for providing old and conventional value added services by ensuring the exploitation of their merit as well as by creating the local entrepreneurs. On the other hand, licensed organizations have introduced various research oriented services for proving its uniqueness to other operators, for ensuring customer satisfaction to attract them.
Earlier, SMS based value added services were conventional; now a days services like Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), Application Protocol Interface (API), Application, WAP etc. are also in great use. Schedule of the BTRC’s recently approved value added services, service tariff and other important activities are furnished below:
1) Mobile Financial Services: Web/International Recharge, E-Ticketing, Inward remittances, Utility Bill payment, Mobile banking etc. are the various services provided under this. Mobile Financial Services contributing a vital role in the ecconomy through financial trancsaction.
2) Call Center based Information Services: Information services like Health Line, Agriculture Info, Education Line, Legal Line, Blood Bank Info, Travel Line etc. are provided by call center based information service organizations. Systems and Services division monitors the operator’s helpline to protect customer’s right.
3) Tracking Service: Mobile customers can determine the position of their vehicles and can manage them by using this service. Basing on the customer demand, this service is also used for tracking human/materials/vehicles/water vehicles etc.
4) Directory / Recharge / Live Information Service: Mobile operators in co-operation with companies having data based facilities, provide Yellow Page, Directory Services, Dictionary Services, Public Examination Results, Stock Exchange Info, Entertainment Services etc.
5) News Service: In order to keep the people updated with latest news of home and abroad news services have been introduced through SMS, IVR based News / Alert Service. To provide this kind of service, Services ans Systems division create specific policies for the operators.
b. Formulation of operation manuals (Guideline, Directives) for telecom sector:
This division works to create space for new technologies, to automate the life style & to introduce various new value added services for the customer satisfaction for ensuring the best performance of the telecommunication sector. Comprehensive operating manuals are a necessity for introducing any new service/technology. Besides, telecommunication, in addition to IT, has now turned into ICT phase, which requires relevant guidelines/directives for having related license/permit/approval. Regulatory & Licensing Guideline is unavoidable for time to time materialization of Government’s telecom policy.
BTRC is playing its role for development of the telecom system & overall regulation of the telecom sector. According to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Act-2001, Section 31 (2) (Ta), Interim Directives are provided by the Commission for sustaining the healthy environment and for increasing the customer satisfaction. After a certain period of time, these directives are considered as permanent directives. SS division initiates the rough guidelines/directives and other regulatory documents on behalf of the BTRC. Recently initiated guidelines, directives under process along with other important activities of BTRC are given below:
1) Guidelines on Subscriber Registration, Connection Activation & Fraud Management System (Proposed).
2) Guidelines on Mobile Number Portability (proposed).
3) Regulatory & Licensing Guidelines on Third Generation (3G) Telecommunication Technology.
4) Management of Bangladesh’s Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD, .bd and .বাংলা).
5) Telephone / Mobile SIM / RUIM registration directives
6) Formulation of interim guidelines for Internet Protocol Telephony
7) Interim Tariff Directives on International Outgoing Call Settlement Charge and Call Charge.
8) Interim guidelines for International outgoing calls, call settlement charges and call charge fixing.
9) Issuance of directives for Do Not Disturb related issues.
10) Formulation of guidelines on National Telecommunication Consumer Protection.
c. International Relation & ITU Projects:
1) Significant Market Power (SMP) Project: SMP regulation is a process through which pure competitive condition is maintained in the market. Here, the large operators do not get chance for monopoly business. On the other hand, new & small scale operators get the opportunity for providing their customer service in a friendly atmosphere. ITU is at the final stage for introducing the SMP regulation related draft guidelines. Everyone is opening that this step by BTRC will play a role for ensuring a competitive condition in the telecom sector of Bangladesh.
2) Cost Modeling, Inter Connection Framework & Tariff Policy Project: The aim of Cost Modeling Project is to determine the Tariff by Cost Based Analysis. BTRC under the Guidance of ITU has started Cost Modeling, Interconnection Framework & Tariff Policy Project. The Commission has determined the service charges by considering the relationship between Operator’s Capital Expenditure and Network & Operational Expenditure with the help of this model. A team comprising of ITU Consultant & BTRC officers are working on this project to introduce an effective Cost Model for the Fixed & Mobile Network entities of Bangladesh. To fix the rate of operators voice calls, ITU consultants use a specific format of cost modeling.
d. Other important activities:
Besides carrying out the above activities, SS division is also performing other important activities of which the important ones are discussed below:
1) National Security Related activities: BTRC & the Operators are constantly assisting Law & Order enforcement agencies, Anti Corruption Commission, Customs, Courts & other offices/organizations for protecting the national security of Bangladesh. As a part of these activities, Call Detail Record (CDR), Subscribers Acquisition Form, Recharge / Balance Information, Location Based Tracking, VOIP / Illegal Telecommunication service detection, unregistered connection (RIM/SIM) termination etc. assistance and information are provided.
2) Formation of BD-CSIRT: For countering Cyber Crime, an organization named ‘Bangladesh Computer Security Incident Response’ (BD-CSIRT) has been formed, through which internet based crimes are suppressed. Various Government organizations website filtering through BD-CSIRT are provided to assese the vulnerability of these sites regarding cyber security. Lots of anti government and anti religion content for which objections are arised from LEA and different govt. organizarions are, blocked through IIG (except facebook and such content which are not possible to block). Also the offensive contents against which objections come from general public is also blocked at the IIG. To increase the power of BD CSIRT for internet safety, the purchase order are on process to procure the specialized internet safety hardware/software.If it is possible to estabilish these specialized equipment then we can block the contents which strikes our existing law and religion at IIG level.
3) Public Awareness related activities: This division is responsible for sending important free SMS nationwide (only national level facts/activities) for enhancing public awareness/educational/services oriented facts in response to the request by various ministries, government, international, multinational, service oriented and educational offices/organizations. In implementation of this task, Cellular Mobile Operators play an important and praiseworthy role.
4) Steps adopted for Telecommunication activities during Natural disaster: Although Bangladesh is now partially capable of communicating through VSAT / Satellite during disaster, she will become completely capable in near future, as a part of gradual development in this sector. As a part of this activity, all Gateway (IGW & IIG) operators have to keep aside 10% (as reserve) Bandwidth Capacity of their Fiber-Cable Capacity for the crisis period. The Commission may consider for reserve capacity enhancement of Gateway operators including giving away Teleport (network-hub rich large satellite earth station which is considerably satellite bandwidth capacity rich) licenses.
5) Environment friendly Telecommunication System: For the last one decade, the modern world is mostly concerned about longtime health hazard of continuous use of various machine/system in line with technological development. BTRC has taken steps for inclusion of necessary guidelines regarding Green Telecom (so that network/system does not cause any long term health hazard) in various ongoing (draft preparation stage) Regulatory & Licensing Guidelines. Besides, BTRC can go forward for ensuring Green Telecom through the materialization of Quality of Service Guideline & Spectrum-Emission Control Guideline. With the help of these activities, we can also step forward in constructing Bangladesh rich with world standard telecommunication services.
6) Current Voice, SMS and Data Tariff: At present, BTRC approved minimum call rate is BDT 0.25 per minute and Max BDT 2.00 per minute in case of mobile phone voice call. The average call rate is BDT 0.83 per minute in different packages offered by mobile phone operators in Bangladesh. By the way, it may be noted that in 2001, the average call rate was BDT 9.86 per minute i.e. it has been decreased by BDT 8.77 per minute over last 10 years. It is hoped that it will continue in the coming years. Max. 10 sec pulse regulation has enabled the subscribers to have lower rate. The different packages offered by different operators have led to price-war to attract the subscribers. It is not any type of illegal or fraud activities rather it is a competition among the operators to expand the businesses.
7) International SIM: International Operators’ SIM are now available in Bangladesh. As a result, people who are going abroad do not have to use high cost roaming facility. Instead, they can buy international SIM before going abroad.
8) International Incoming Call Charge: International Incoming call charge has been reduced to 3.45 cent, whereas it was 4 cent in 2007. Collecting more information, BTRC is examing the possibility of decreasing the call rate by considering the market demand and customers benefit.