1.01 The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (“the Commission”) has been granted powers under section 36 the Bangladesh Telecommunication Act 2001, as amended (“the Act”) to issue Licenses for the operation and provision of telecommunication services, and to determine the eligibility criteria and other general terms and conditions of Licenses.
1.02 Having given due consideration to the principles of transparency, fairness, non-discrimination and all other relevant principles, the Commission has decided to issue Guidelines on Licensing Procedure of International Gateway Services as envisaged in the International Long Distance Telecommunication Services Policy 2007 (ILDTS Policy 2007).
1.03 These Guidelines, along with the terms and conditions of the License, should be read in conjunction with the Act, any subsequent legislation, and prevalent laws or sector policies framed by the Government, and other rules, regulations, decrees, orders, decisions, guidelines, directives and documents of general application issued by the Government or the Commission from time to time. The Act specifically provides, under Section 35 and 55, that the establishment, operation or use of telecommunication system including radio apparatus and provision of telecommunication services in Bangladesh without a License is an offence, punishable with imprisonment or a fine or both.
1.04 These guidelines, may be withdrawn, revised, updated or amended from time to time, without any prior notice, to take into consideration various factors including, but not limited to, any threat to public interest, public health, national security and statutory or Court orders.
2. INTERPRETATION & DEFINITION
The interpretation and definition of the terms used in this document is annexed herewith as SCHEDULE -1 to the Generic Form of License appended with this guideline as APPENDIX-2.
3.01 These Guidelines are intended to provide an overview of the licensing and regulatory framework for applicants seeking to obtain a License to establish, maintain and operate International Gateway Services in Bangladesh.
3.02 These Guidelines have been prepared taking into account the objectives of the Government to facilitate the introduction of International Gateway Services as envisaged in the ILDTS Policy 2007.
3.03 International Gateway Services License to be issued under these Guidelines will authorize an operator to establish, maintain and operate International Gateway Services. No person or business entity shall be allowed to provide International Gateway Services without a valid License issued by the Commission.
3.04 To provide overseas voice communication to the public at an affordable rate by terminating to and originating from Telecommunication networks in Bangladesh.
4. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
4.01 The following are the principal legal statutes governing the telecommunication industry in Bangladesh:
a. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Act, 2001 (as amended).
b. The Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 and The Telegraph Act, 1885, for matters that are not covered by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Act, 2001 (as amended).
c. Any Regulation made or to be made by the Commission.
4.02 The Licensee shall establish, operate and maintain the International Gateway Services as per the License.
4.03 All Voice Call will be routed (terminating to and originating from Bangladesh) through International Gateways (IGWs) and Interconnection Exchanges (ICXs).
4.04 There shall be three IGWs in addition to the existing IGW of BTTB.
4.05 Location of the three new IGWs will be at Dhaka.
4.06 The Licensee will have primary backbone connection towards International networks through SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable and through other submarine cables whenever available.
4.07 The Licensee will have backup connectivity through Satellite Earth Station/ VSAT until alternative submarine cable(s) are available.
4.08 The IGWs will have physical connections with ICXs. The connectivity and related expenses will be borne by ICXs.
4.09 The Licensee will provide international voice call services both clear channel and VoIP, origination and routing facilities to the ICX.
4.10 The Licensee will arrange end-to-end service level agreements and will negotiate fees with overseas careers for call origination and termination by themselves. Agreed fees will be vetted by BTRC.
4.11 An IGW Services License issued by the Commission shall be a stand alone License which shall be operated independent of any other types of operating Licenses.
4.12 An interested applicant must apply to the Commission in the prescribed form for grant of International Gateway Services License.
4.13 The Licensee shall make its systems Lawful Interception (LI) Compliant.
4.14 The Licensee shall provide necessary connections including necessary equipment and software to the Commission for online and offline monitoring and analyzing of Call Detail Record (CDR), Call Accounting, Signalling, QoS and or any other system as may be required by the Commission. User licenses for the software will be at least 5 (five) in number.
4.15 The Licensees will provide access to Law Enforcing Agencies (LEA) for LI as envisaged in Section 97 KA of the Act, including necessary equipment and software and shall also set the same instruments up at LEA premises.
4.16 The Licensee shall be subject to additional terms and conditions when and where deemed necessary to be in accordance with public interest and or in accordance with the National Telecommunications Policy 1998 and ILDTS Policy 2007 and/or any other future Government policies.
4.17 IGW Services License shall not be issued to existing operators having any license from the Commission.
4.18 An applicant shall be disqualified from obtaining a License if any provision listed in sub clauses (i) to (vii) below applies to its owner(s) or to any of its director(s) or partner(s) or to the applicant himself (i) he is an insane person, (ii) he has been sentenced by a court under any law, other than the Act, to imprisonment for a term of 2 (two) years or more, and a period of 5 (five) years has not elapsed since his release from such imprisonment, (iii) he has been sentenced by a court for committing any offence under the Act and a period of 5 (five) years has not elapsed since his release from such imprisonment, (iv) he has been declared bankrupt by the Court and has not been discharged from the liability of bankruptcy, (v) he has been identified or declared by the Bangladesh Bank or by the court or by a bank or financial institution as a loan defaulter of that bank or institution. (vi) he has been charged with illegally terminating calls by using VoIP technology. (vii) any license of his has been cancelled by the Commission at any time during the last 5 (five) years.
4.19 In addition to the mandatory grounds for disqualification for applying for a License referred to in clauses 4.17 and 4.18, the Commission shall also consider whether the applicant satisfies other criteria including but not limited to:
(a) Whether the applicant has sufficient management and financial capacity to operate the
activities pertaining to International Long Distance Telecommunication Services for which the
License will be awarded;
(b) how far the issuance of the License will serve the public interest and national security.
4.20 IGW Services Licenses will be issued to Bangladeshi entities (resident citizens, proprietorships, partnerships
and companies registered under ‘Joint Stock of Companies and Firms’ under the Companies Act 1994). If the applicant is a company then all directors and shareholders of the applicant must be resident Bangladeshi Citizen.
4.21 No shares can be transferred or new shares issued without written permission of the Commission.
4.22 All financial transactions (in local and Foreign currency) in relation to the License must be through Scheduled Bank(s) of Bangladesh. The Licensee shall inform the Commission of the details of the accounts in operation. The Licensee shall have to submit monthly statement of all the accounts to the Commission within 10th day of each calendar month.
4.23 The Licensee will not be eligible for any other License(s) from the Commission. No shareholder and/or his family of the company that is awarded the License in the capacity of an owner, shareholder, director, officer or partner of any other company can hold or will hold any other License from the Commission.
4.24 One entity will be allowed to get ONLY one IGW License.
4.25 The Licenses will be awarded by open auction subject to fulfillment of other conditions.
4.26 The Licensee companies will issue Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the Stock Exchange of Bangladesh and nowhere else within 3 (three) years of commencement of operation subject to laws and regulation of Security and Exchange Commission.
4.27 Prior approval of the Commission with necessary conditions is mandatory before launching of any other services.
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