Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Bangladesh is going to start issuing the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) licences from March 25 with a view to eradicating the number of illegal VoIP calls.
The companies, which submitted their licence acquisition fee within the stipulated timeframe, are asked to take licences from the commission, according to a notification, issued by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on Wednesday.
Proprietors of the companies have to be present with attested copy of their national ID card and visiting card during handover of the licences. In some cases they have to submit the main copy of ‘letter of authorisation’.
According to the BTRC, some 844 companies, out of the nominated 1,004, will get licences for conducting legal VoIP business.
The government hopes that following the issuance of the VoIP licences the number of illegal VoIP calls will reduce, while the government’s revenue will increase.
Earlier, the BTRC issued letters to the 1,004 companies, selected by the telecom ministry for receiving VoIP licences, after they had submitted licence acquisition fee of Tk 0.5 million each by February 14.
In the first phase 808 companies deposited their fees. The BTRC later expanded the timeframe to February 28 for the rest of the companies. By that time, more than 50 companies submitted their licence acquisition fee.
Currently, the local VoIP market size is nearly 70 million calls per day, according to the industry insiders.
The regulator took the initiative of issuing VoIP licences under the name of ‘VoIP Service Provider (VSP)’ to reduce the number of illegal calls that has increased alarmingly over the last few months. 
The government rate of a VoIP call is US$0.03, while the current gray market rate is less than $0.02. VoIP licence holders will work as the retailers for termination of international VoIP calls, while International Gateway (IGW) operators will work as the wholesalers, said the industry insiders.
According to the VSP guideline, some 45 per cent revenue of each VoIP call will go to the government, 13.25 per cent to the IGW operators, 15 per cent to the Interconnection Exchange (ICX), 20 per cent to the Access Network Service (ANS) providers, and the rest will go to the VSP operators.
BBN/SSR/AD-21Mar13-8:21 am (BST)