GP, Banglalink get 3cr numbers in new series

DHAKA, Sept 6, 2018 : Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has allocated three crore numbers to two mobile network operators (MNOs) – Grameenphone and Banglalink – in two new number series, 013 and 014, following their repeated appeals.

Talking to BSS today, BTRC acting Chairman Md. Jahurul Haque said they took the decision at the commission’s meeting on Wednesday as both the MNOs are on the brink of exhausting the entire capacity in the existing prefixes -017 and 019.

“Grameenphone has been given one crore in 0130 and another one crore in 0131 while Banglalink has been permitted to sell one crore in 0140,” revealed the chairman.

Officials said market leader Grameenphone had applied to the telecom regulator in 2015, saying that they are facing scarcity of numbers as the allocated 10 crore numbers in 017 prefix were running out quickly.

Besides, the third largest operator Banglalink also filed an application two years back seeking the prefix of 010.

Grameenphone earlier said its active connections crossed the seven crore mark as of July though it has sold over nine crore SIMs. A number series can hardly provide 10 crore connections.

On the other hand, the total active connection of Banglalink reached 3.34 crore as of July while they have sold over eight crore SIMs.

However, Grameenphone has said they are yet to receive any letter from the telecom regulator regarding the issue.

Banglalink spokesperson said the operator received a letter from BTRC about the allocation of 014 series and now it is working to issue new numbers to the customers.

Meanwhile, the second largest operator Robi, outcome of the amalgamation of Robi and Airtel in November 2016, is enjoying an advantage in the market for having two number series – 018 and 016.

The two series account for 4.53 crore active numbers as of July, according to the BTRC.

Apart from the Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink, state-own operator Teletalk is offering service using 015 series while the country’s first operator Citycell which has 011 prefix is currently out of operation.

The National Numbering Plan has 10 prefixes for mobile operators, and now 010 and 012 are only available after the new decision.