Bangladesh Mobile Operator Opposes Reduction in Internet Packages, Citing Customer Choice and Satisfaction

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Bangladesh Mobile Operator Opposes Reduction in Internet Packages, Citing Customer Choice and Satisfaction

Bangladesh’s mobile operator, Robi, strongly opposes the move by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to reduce the number of internet packages from 95 to 40, and discontinue three-day and seven-day packages. Robi’s chief corporate and regulatory officer, Shahed Alam, argues that this decision restricts customer choice and imposes higher costs on grassroots, low-income, and young users.

Alam highlights that after implementing a package limit of 95 last year, there were no customer complaints regarding the excessive number of packages. Even when Robi offered 300 packages, customers did not express dissatisfaction with the variety. Additionally, he mentions that despite claims of an overwhelming product portfolio, customers typically encounter only around five packages.

Robi designs its products to cater to over 55 million customers, taking into account the specific requirements of customers of diverse segments. The company leverages artificial intelligence and data analytics to tailor its offerings and closely monitors that no individual customer is exposed to more than 5-6 product options.

The BTRC’s directive, set to take effect on October 15, aims to reduce confusion among customers who face numerous package options and often fail to use all the data before its expiry. However, Alam argues that offering packages without a validity period would burden customers, and the pricing structure considers not only bandwidth costs but also licensing fees and various overheads.

Furthermore, Alam believes that these regulatory moves will stifle competition. He emphasizes that the decline in data prices since 2013 has been driven by the fiercely competitive market, and reducing the number of data packages or discontinuing three-day and seven-day packages is unwarranted.

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While customer complaints about service quality do exist, Alam explains that occasional issues in certain locations are inherent to cellular networks and are being diligently addressed. The release of additional spectrum by the BTRC last year requires time and investment to configure this capacity across all their sites. However, Alam remains optimistic that all mobile operators will have completed spectrum configuration by year-end, leading to a notable enhancement in service quality.

Regarding the recent data price increase, Alam points out that data was subject to minimal or no VAT until recently. The imposition of VAT since last June has impacted operators, but a significant portion of mobile service expenditures directly contributes to the government’s coffers.

Despite opposition from mobile operators and experts, the BTRC believes that reducing the number of packages will simplify choices for customers. However, critics argue that consumers should have the freedom to choose from a variety of options based on their individual needs, and curtailing the number of packages will limit their choices.

The debate between the BTRC, mobile operators, and experts continues, with proponents of customer choice and satisfaction advocating for a diverse range of internet packages that cater to different user requirements. Ultimately, the decision lies with the regulatory authorities, who must strike a balance between offering a manageable number of packages and meeting the demands of their customers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

Why does Robi oppose the reduction in internet packages by the BTRC?

Robi opposes the reduction in internet packages by the BTRC because they believe it restricts customer choice and imposes higher costs on grassroots, low-income, and young users.

Did customers complain about the excessive number of internet packages when Robi had 95 available?

No, customers did not complain about the excessive number of internet packages when Robi had 95 available. Even when Robi offered 300 packages in the past, customers were still satisfied with the variety.

How many internet packages do customers typically encounter?

Customers typically encounter only around five internet packages, despite claims of an overwhelming product portfolio.

How does Robi design its products?

Robi designs its products to cater to over 55 million customers, taking into account the specific requirements of customers from diverse segments. They leverage artificial intelligence and data analytics to tailor their offerings and ensure that no individual customer is exposed to more than 5-6 product options.

What is the BTRC's directive regarding internet packages?

The BTRC's directive aims to reduce confusion among customers by reducing the number of internet packages from 95 to 40 and discontinuing three-day and seven-day packages.

Why does Robi disagree with offering packages without a validity period?

Robi believes that offering packages without a validity period would burden customers. They argue that the pricing structure considers not only bandwidth costs but also licensing fees and various overheads.

What does Robi believe about the impact of reducing the number of data packages or discontinuing three-day and seven-day packages?

Robi believes that reducing the number of data packages or discontinuing three-day and seven-day packages will stifle competition. They argue that the decline in data prices since 2013 has been driven by the fiercely competitive market.

Are there any issues with service quality in certain locations?

Yes, there are occasional issues with service quality in certain locations. Robi acknowledges this and is diligently addressing these issues. The release of additional spectrum by the BTRC last year requires time and investment to configure this capacity across all their sites, but they remain optimistic that service quality will be enhanced soon.

Why have data prices increased recently?

Data prices have increased recently due to the imposition of VAT since last June. This has impacted operators, but a significant portion of mobile service expenditures goes directly to the government's coffers.

What do critics argue about reducing the number of internet packages?

Critics argue that reducing the number of internet packages will limit consumer choices. They believe that consumers should have the freedom to choose from a variety of options that cater to their individual needs.

Who will make the final decision on the number of internet packages?

The final decision on the number of internet packages lies with the regulatory authorities, who must strike a balance between offering a manageable number of packages and meeting the demands of customers.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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