In neighbouring Bangladesh 18 companies together launched Internet Telephony service in the country reports The Daily Star. Interestingly unlike India, Bangladesh is allowing VoIP calls to mobile phones and landlines though making international calls have been restricted. In August last year Bangladesh had issued Internet Telephony license to as many as 32 ISPs.
In India, Aksh Optifibre has the Internet Telephony mandate for MTNL, and, well, the state of Internet Telephony in India is indicated by the state of its website: it’s down. At one point of time the Government was even mulling on banning VoIP all together citing security reasons. It will be interesting to see what happens once Broadband Wireless Access Spectrum is auctioned in India.
The ISPs in Bangladesh will charge a maximum of Tk 0.20 (Rs. 0.13) a minute for all calls between ISPs and a maximum of Tk 2 (Rs 1.3) and minimum Tk 0.65 (Rs 0.42) for a call terminating on any mobile or landline in compliance with the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission’s (BTRC) directive. At the same time ISPs however are asking consumers to pay Tk 100 (approx Rs. 65) as a connection fee per month for unlimited calls between ISPs. Wouldn’t they much rather use Skype for free?
The 18 operators that started the service in Bangladesh are Advanced Data Networks System Ltd, Agni Systems Ltd, BDCom Online Ltd, Beximco, BracNet, BTS Communication Ltd, Connect BD Ltd, Dhakacom Ltd, Grameen Cybernet Ltd, Global Access Ltd, HRC Technologies Ltd, Information Services Network Ltd, Innovative Online Ltd, Link3 Technologies Ltd, Metronet BD Ltd, Optimax Communication Ltd, Royal Green Online Ltd and Telnet Communication Ltd.
The Bangladeshi authorities are also cracking down on illegal VoIP use. The Daily Star reported earlier that BTRC shut down operations a private fixed line operator Ranks Tel after, allegedly, the authorities found VoIP equipment at one of the company’s office.