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The Financial Express

BTRC's SMP decree

HC drops GP's writ from list

| Updated: July 07, 2020 13:15:52


HC drops GP's writ from list

The High Court (HC) on Monday dropped a writ petition from its cause-list, which was filed by the Grameenphone (GP) over the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission's (BTRC) imposition of Significant Market Power (SMP) instructions on the operator.The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim dropped the writ petition "out of list" after holding a virtual hearing on it. Earlier in the morning, Barrister Mustafizur Rahman Khan, a counsel for the GP, mentioned about the writ petition in the court. He prayed that his client would not proceed with the petition, as it is moving for a settlement over the issue through discussion with the BTRC.The GP filed the writ petition with the HC on June 28, challenging legality of the BTRC's decision that imposed two new restrictions on the country's telecom market leader.On June 22, the BTRC imposed two conditions on the company under the SMP guidelines, aiming to create a level playing field for all telecom operators.In February last year, the BTRC declared the GP as an SMP operator in an attribution that opened the path for engineering several strategic moves to curb its dominance in the local telecom market.Later, the company went to court to stop the move, but the regulator finally won. On December 15 last year, the HC bench, headed by Justice Farah Mahbub, passed an order, allowing the BTRC to impose the SMP Regulations 2018 on the GP.After five months, the BTRC imposed two conditions on the GP, including taking permission before introducing any package, service and offer as well as taking permission for its existing offers and services.Usually, the BTRC approves packages for one year, and then the operators are allowed to run those packages for more than one year by the commission.The other restriction involves reducing the mobile number portability (MNP) lock-in period from 90 days to 60 days.It means any subscriber of the GP can now switch to other operators after 60 days under the MNP service, while subscribers from other operators will require 90 days for switching to the GP.

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