Move to VAS license lauded


Country's noted ICT experts and local content providers welcomed the telecom regulatory body's move toward the license issuance of Value Added Services (VAS) for cellphone operators. They hoped, the initiative would boost the local entrepreneurship. 

ICT expert Mustafa Jabbar told the media that BTRC's initiative would protect the small entrepreneur from the clasp of big companies and help the small investors to survive their business. It will also create huge employment opportunities locally and bring market diversification, he added.

"If the regulator would implement the VAS guideline and license, the VAS will be turned into a potential industry in future," he said, adding "but, ironically such kind of initiative are not implemented in our country."

Telecom regulatory body, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has recently published a guideline to issue license for VAS to help the local young IT entrepreneur to heighten their business. Industry insiders said, the VAS market size is around Tk 200 crore currently, which would be doubled in future. Of the total size, the local companies are contributing nearly 30 percent while rest are provided by the foreign companies. They said only 25-30 local contents provider firms are active at this moment.

Jabbar said the government's "digital Bangladesh" campaign would not be successful if the country's small ICT entrepreneurs do not get opportunity to expand their wings.

He, however, said the cellphone companies in the country are creating bar to boost the local Value Added Service Industry. "We couldn't find any small investors who are not affected by the cellphone companies."

BTRC chairman Major General (retd) Zia Ahmed informed that they have taken the decision to make a platform for the country's young ICT talents, as they do not get proper assistance for their contents from the giant companies.

However, the cellphone operators are opposing the move, saying it will ruin their investment plan for 3G.


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