GP declared SMP

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DHAKA, Feb 10, 2019 (BSS) – Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has declared the country’s leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone as the Significant Market Power (SMP) operator in a bid to bring a healthy competition in the telecom market.

The regulator today issuing an official order made the announcement to maintain market equilibrium as Grameenphone has already surpassed two parameters of SMP out of three by bagging 46.33 percent share of the active customer base.

BTRC, however, did not determine what to do or not to do for the SMP operator immediately, rather it would unveil those by another directive immediately by a committee which working on it, said officials.

Talking to BSS, BTRC Chairman Md Jahurul Haque today said: “Actually, we are now working with some issues but nothing would do which affect customers as well as operator.”

Terming the SMP as a long standing pending issue, he said: “Now BTRC will move for the does and don’ts for Grameenphone.”

Along with Grameenphone, other operators -Robi, Banglalink and Teletalk have also been informed about the SMP operator.

Officials said declaring the dominant operator as SMP is a common practice in developed world and in Bangladesh this is the first initiative and hope it would help in creating equilibrium in the market.

The SMP is a regulation that imposes restrictions on an operator once it bags 40 percent of the subscribers, revenues and spectrum, according the SMP policy formulated by the government recently after spending several years.

In two parameters- in terms of customers and annual revenue, BTRC found Grameenphone as SMP.

As of December last year, Grameenphone has 46.33 percent share of the active customer base. For the last few years, the operator’s revenue share has been more than 50 percent. End of December, their active SIMs number stood 7.27 crore and their revenue grew 3.4 percent to Taka 13,280 crore in 2018.

In addition, Grameenphone register a record Taka 3,520 crore profit last year which is highest to date, driven by the significant growth in voice and data revenue.

The restrictions are expected to give a leg-up to Robi and Banglalink and to a certain extent to Teletalk.

Robi now has 29.87 percent market share, Banglalink 21.35 percent and Teletalk 2.46 percent.

About the new kind of regulation, Grameenphone said they hope the regulator will follow the international best practice on this issue.

Grameenphone’s Head of Communication Sayed Talat Kamal in a statement told BSS that “GP would expect that the SMP regulation to follow established international and industry best practices, allowing the entire industry to further develop and grow to deliver on the national ambition of Digital Bangladesh for all.”

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