GP fast running out of 017 number series


Leading mobile phone company Grameenphone is running out of new connections under its 017 number series and thus applied to the telecom regulator for a new number series alongside its existing prefix.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission officials say the GP application is under review as there are a number of concerns related with the approval.
Because of the same reason GP was last year allowed to resell its old numbers which were not in use.
Founded in 1997, the operator has 5.66 crore active subscribers of the total 13.37 crore in the country as of December 2015. The total sales of the GP connections, however, reached near 10 crore.
The number series of country’s mobile phone operators started with the 01 prefix as per the National Number Plan.  Each number prefix allows an operator to sell 10 crore connections with an 11-digit number.
Currently, there is option for 10 number prefix for mobile phone as per the NNP, of which 010, 012, 013 and 014 is available for new allocation.
In the existing companies Citycell is using 011, Teletalk 015, Airtel 016, Robi 018 and Banglalink is using 019 as their number prefixes.
‘The concern about allowing GP a new number series arises because of the possibility of one or two new entries into the market when the 4G will be launched. The other existing operators may also demand additional number series when those will reach to the limit,’ a senior BTRC official told New Age on Saturday.
There is also issue related to Significant Market Power, a regulation which is yet to be introduced, as the GP is holding more than 42 per cent market shares, he said.
‘If SNP comes into play, then GP will face some bars. But if we allow it a new number prefix, then the operator is officially allowed to have 10 crore more customers,’ the official said.
The commission is also thinking about the option of allowing GP to introduce 12-digit number series under the existing prefix, he said.
‘In that case, we have to amend the NNP which is a time consuming process,’ the official said.
Asked about the issue, GP officials admitted that the company ‘has almost run out of numbers’ and filed such an application but did not disclose the number of its total SIM sales.
‘We have applied for new number series as we have almost run out of our numbers. The BTRC is assessing our application,’ GP chief corporate affairs officer Mahmud Hossain told New Age.
Source: new age


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here