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Spice Digital Rolls Out Access To Information Services in Bangladesh

Mobile VAS company Spice Digital* has partnered the Bangladesh government to commercially roll out Access to Information services in Bangladesh. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and SMS services been deployed by Spice on on the state owned telco Teletalk Bangladesh and private operator Robi (an Axiata company), offering information services like Passport Enquiry, Birth certificate and tax information from National Board of Revenue (NBR) with 30 more services in the pipeline, which includes 17 services based on API access from respective Government departments. Speaking to Medianama, Varun Gupta, Lead - International Business, Spice Digital mentioned that the service is currently in a pilot phase and it will be rolling out other services based on the response received. He stated that the company plans to roll out 10-15 services across all the operators in Bangladesh by March 31, 2013. Users can access the service by calling or sending a text message to a common short code 16364 and they will be charged at 1 Bangladeshi Taka per minute (around 67 paise per minute). Access to Information (A2I): Access to Information is a project managed by the Bangladeshi Prime Minister’s Office and its Cabinet Division in a bid to improve the quality and the accessibility of the public services to the underserved communities and groups in Upazila parishads. Under this project, the government has launched various initiatives like Jatiyo e- Tothyokosh, which claims to be the largest public content depository in Bangladesh and Infokosh mService which intends to create awareness about the various polices and procedures of various Government ministries and departments using mobile…

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