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BANGLADESH TELECOMMUNICATION REGULATORY COMMISSION

IEB Bhaban, Ramna, Dhaka-1000

Draft Guideline
On
Enlistment of Value Added Service Developers and Providers

Prepared by

Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS)

Date: January 18, 2011


ABBREVIATIONS

1. BTRC: Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

2. VAS: Value Added Service

3. BASIS: Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services


DEFINITIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS
Unless the context otherwise requires, the different terms and expression used in the
guideline shall have the following meaning assigned to them. The headings are given for
the sake of convenience in the guideline and do not carry any special meaning.

1. “Commission” means Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission established


under the Bangladesh Telecommunication Act, 2001(as amended).

2. “Value Added Service” means all services beyond standard voice calls and fax transmission
such as sms contents, ring tones, wall papers, games, java applications etc that can be used by
telecom subscribers.

3. “Mobile or PSTN Operators” means any Mobile or PSTN operator licensed by BTRC .

4. “m-commerce” means any financial or financial like transaction taking place through any
telecommunication device e.g. a mobile phone.

5. “Provider” means Value Added Service provider.

6. “Developer” means Value Added Service developer.

7. “Certification” means any certifications related to developing or providing VAS.


1. Introduction

The ICT & telecommunication sector in Bangladesh is developing in its own course. It is
blooming with high hopes because of its huge population. The service-business (value added
service) is facing increase in market-player every day. But these service providers are not
governed with proper rules. A product is not at all a product if been rejected by the consumers.
The competition between products from different producer is also required to make sure the
ever rising product quality regarding services. The main drawback in the ICT &
telecommunication sector of Bangladesh is we don’t have, in that respect, any competition in
the field of value added services, new services & competition regarding the product quality &
customer satisfaction.

Though the existing service providers are doing very well, ensuring the market competition &
quality offered but to welcome more foreign investment, backing up the local entrepreneurs and
even balanced & healthier competition the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory
Commission (BTRC / Commission) is planning to introduce a pool of authorized service
providers. If one entity been able to include its name in that pool, will get the authorization till it
is enlisted to provide any new/value-added service approved by the Commission.

2. Objectives

The guideline has been developed with the following objectives in mind:

1. To promote local ICT entrepreneurs of Bangladesh


2. To ensure enhanced growth of non-voice services in the Telecommunication sector
of Bangladesh
3. Enhance export of Telecommunication based IT enabled services from Bangladesh
4. Creating global Telecom sector based IT enabled services from Bangladesh
5. To create local employments for IT professionals

3. Pre-requisites

1. Any organization/company/firm/entity registered to do business in Bangladesh


whether registered as Proprietorship, Partnership, Private Limited, Public Limited or
Corporation or in any other form of Judicial Person permitted to do business in
Bangladesh will be eligible for enlistment
2. Any organization/company/firm/entity, which can deliver a new service and provide
the same nationally under the framework of any BTRC license are eligible to be
enlisted as service provider.
3. BASIS membership is mandatory for any organization/company/firm/entity to be
enlisted as a VASP and/or VASD.
4. Any foreign organization/company/firm/entity pursuing enlistment for VASP and/or
VASD must have a local partner with at least 40% of equity and a BASIS
membership.
5. Any VASD or VASP will have to have at least 5 employees with IT skills.

4. Awarding Enlistment
1. Enlistment will be awarded in two forms namely “Value Added Service Developer
(VASD)” and “Value Added Service Provider VASP”
2. Any same entity can be enlisted as VASP and VASD.
3. Any VASP operating VASD for its own use may not require a separate enlistment for
VASD.
4. Any organization/company/firm/entity must pay BDT 2,000 as application evaluation fee
(non-refundable). If the application is accepted, the organization/company/firm/entity
must pay additional BDT 100,000 as enlistment fee.
5. Duration of enlistment will be 5 years.
6. Mobile or PSTN operators will not be eligible to be enlisted as VASD/VASP under this
guideline.
7. No other entities but the enlisted service providers are eligible to provide any new-
service or value-added-service. If the service provider is working on behalf of another
entity, both of them will be individually and severally responsible.

5. Documentation
1. Application in the company letter-head pad
2. Up to date Trade License, Income Tax Clearance Certificate (if not applicable, TIN)
3. Service Proposal with necessary logical, physical & network diagram along with financial
cost analysis report.
4. Copy of any certifications already achieved by the employees or the entrepreneur will
have to be submitted during application for enlistment.
5. Copy of BASIS membership certificate
Operator 1

VASD VASP VAS exchange Operator 2


Consumer

Operator 3

Located in
and regulated
by BTRC

The ideal Value Chain Structure for VASD and VASP


6. Operations

1. Any changes to the partnership agreement have to be notified to the Commission


before enforcement.
2. For foreign investment, the employment of foreign expatriates is limited to 10% after
1st year of operation. Relevant Government rules and regulations regarding foreign
personnel employment have to be followed.
3. A single enlisted organization/company/firm/entity can operate from any single or
multiple premises but the head office for multiple site operation have to be registered
with the Commission or any other regulatory authority, if applicable. Any changes to
the location of the head office or any of its branch location will have to be notified to
the Commission or any other regulatory authority, if applicable, before the change
takes place. An entity having both form of enlistment can also operate from any
single or multiple premises following the same guideline.
4. All enlisted organization/company/firm/entity will have to create, launch and operate a
dynamic website with minimum customer service facilities e.g. complain and query
with ticketing system, before commercial operation starts and a report on customer
service related activity will have to be made available to the Commission or any other
regulatory authority, if applicable, on demand.
5. Any enlisted organization/company/firm/entity will be eligible to develop contents for
both local and international consumers or customers or clients.
6. Any enlisted organization/company/firm/entity can also make use of m-commerce in
order to provide service to end users both locally and internationally.
7. The VASD or VASP must not be used as a transit point of any sort to deliver services
of the unlisted people
8. Any organization/company/firm/entity having either or both form of the enlistment
may operate businesses other than one(s) enlisted for under the same premise, but
will have to maintain separate ledgers and accounts for VASP and/or VASD
operation.
9. Any enlisted organization/company/firm/entity will not misuse the Telecommunication
resources for any other activity and shall be responsible for the same.
10.Any organization/company/firm/entity enlisted as VASP will provide with and sell its
products and services directly to the customer (local and international) and
subscribers will reach VASP through mobile or PSTN operators.
7. Quality of Service(QoS)
Strict adherence to maintaining QoS will be a responsibility of all VASDs, VASPs and mobie
or PSTN operators. BTRC will monitor and regulate the quality of services through VAS
exchange and will take necessary steps to ensure it when such necessity arises.

8. Reporting
1. Reporting of these enlisted organization/company/firm/entity will not be limited to the
Commission, if they fall under the jurisdiction of any other regulatory authorities in
Bangladesh.
2. Any enlisted organization/company/firm/entity will inform the Commission of any
change in the information furnished within 30 days.
3. After been introduced by the Commission, the service provider(s) have to have due
service-level-agreement (with network/solution provider) and the network/solution
provider (BTRC Licensees) shall preserve and verify the service plan, network plan,
service policy and other related information/documents regarding the service and
submit/inform the Commission at least thirty (30) days prior to launch the service
publicly.
9. Renewal of Enlistment:
1. The validity of the enlistment shall be for 5 (five) years. Upon expiry of 5 (five) years,
the enlistment may be renewed for subsequent terms, each of 5 (five) years in
duration. The enlisted organization/company/firm/entity shall apply for renewal one
month before expiry of license validity. The company may continue the
service/services until the application is processed.

10. Monitoring of National Interest


Any enlisted organization/company/firm/entity will provide with necessary access to Law
Enforcing Agency (LEA) for lawful interception (LI) as per Bangladesh Telecommunication
Act 2001(as amended).

11. Privileges and benefits


VASDs and VASPs will enjoy privileges and benefits for exporting VAS and earning foreign
currency as per ICT policy.

12. Cancellation
A. Allocated service provider may be cancelled, but not limited to, under followings:
1. If any service provider fails to launch the service within three (03) months after
signing due service-level-agreement with network/solution provider.
2. If the service found to be against the national heritage, culture, interest and security.
3. If the service provider is engaged in any unfair/fraudulent practices.
4. If the service provider found to be involved in unethical, unauthorized, illegal
activities.
5. Violation of any of the terms and conditions mentioned in this guideline.
6. Violation of rules, regulation and laws of the land.

B. Any enlistment awarded under this guideline will not be transferable. If any enlisted
organization/company/firm/entity found to be involved in transfer of enlistment either or
both will be removed from list of enlisted organization/company/firm/entity.

13. Application of other Policies


Subject to the provisions of this guideline, National Telecommunication Policy 1998 and
other policies shall apply and incase of the said policies are in conflict with this guideline,
provisions of this guideline shall prevail.

The Commission reserves the right to alter, change, modify or add any terms and
conditions of the enlistment including applicable fees at any time in public and
industry interest as per Bangladesh Telecommunication Act, 2001.