The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has suspended new registration of companies for providing telecommunication value-added services (TVAS), with effect from September 30.
The BTRC will also scrutinise the activities of the registered TVAS companies and see if there was any room for new such services in the market, according to a BTRC notice issued on Sunday.
The telecom regulator has issued registration certificates to 149 organisations to date.
An official of the BTRC legal wing said, “The BTRC might resume awarding registration to new entities after monitoring the activities of the existing TVAS companies.”
The TVAS refers to those telecommunication services, other than the core services (voice call, SMS, data), that add value to the core and are electronically consumable and deliverable though any access network services using direct operator billing and/or any payment method approved by the central bank.
On July 5 last year, the telecom regulator invited applications from competent organisations to grant registration certificate for running TVAS business.
The commission also formulated guidelines with a view to bringing discipline in the overcrowded value-added service business and bringing the service providers under regulatory framework.
Taking away a huge amount of fund from Bangladesh by an Indian entity after making a very small amount of investment in the country was among other reasons behind the formulation of guidelines.
Following the incident, BTRC formulated guidelines allowing foreign entities to hold a maximum of 70 per cent stake in a TVAS entity, making local partnership a must for a foreign entity.
Besides, TVAS providers will have to share 5.5 per cent of their gross revenue with the government and will have to deposit 1.0 per cent of their gross revenue in the government’s social obligation fund from the third year of the start of their operation. Earlier, there was no such provision for the TVAS providers.