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Airtel has unfair advantage, say Dhaka operators
IANS
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Published on 10 Apr. 2011 10:45 PM IST
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DHAKA, APR 10 : Indian telecom major Bharti Airtel has an "unfair market advantage" over its competitors in Bangladesh, a report said here Sunday.
The draft Cellular Mobile Telecommunication Operators Licence Renewal Guidelines 2011, prepared by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on behalf of the posts and telecommunications ministry, allows unfair market advantage to Airtel, the latest operator to enter the market, "telecom industry insiders" were quoted as saying.
Four leading operators - Grameenphone, Orascom (Banglalink), Axiata (Robi) and Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Ltd (Citycell) - are up for licence renewal in November, after the expiry of the 15-year term of their licences. Airtel, which acquired the licence in December 2005, is not up for renewal until 2020. It gets a window of nine years in which it will be providing services for much lower rates, the report says.
According to the draft, operators will need to pay application fee, licence renewal fee, annual licence fee, revenue sharing, social obligation fund as well as separate licence fees and charge for spectrum use.
An official said Airtel's promotional offer of dinner with Indian actors Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor was against BTRC regulations. On complaints from other mobile operators, BTRC just issued a letter to all operators to not flout rules, foregoing any punitive action against Airtel.

 
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