Management of Multi-Operator Interconnection through Interconnection Exchange - A Case Study of Bangladesh

5th Communication Policy Research South Conference (CPRsouth5), Xi'an, China

16 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2010

Date Written: December 6, 2010

Abstract

The liberalization/opening of telecom markets has brought significant value to customers and markets. The open market contributed to improve the quality of service, price reduction and introduction of competition among service providers. An operator can no longer prosper simply by offering basic telephone services. Operators are growing very fast and expanding into all types of telephone services – fixed, mobile, Long Distance (National & International) and also into convergent networks. The geographical spread is also increasing at a fast pace. Operators worldwide are realizing the need for fixed-mobile, voice-data and carrier-enterprise convergence.

But, behind this bright scene, a complexity is also developing, which has not been addressed with a long term perspective at its inception. These developments could lead to a complex situation resulting in monopolistic behaviour by a market leader or incumbent operators, or an increase in the cost of interconnecting networks in a multi-operator and multi-service scenario.

Interconnection is one of the most important areas which may emerge as a problem with the increase in number of operators with open market conditions. With the increase of number of operators in different services, the number of interconnecting links between operators increase in multiples and will be very soon unmanageable. Incumbents' networks generally in all developing countries do not have adequate interconnection facilities for new entrants. As a result investments made by new entrants are required to wait for the availability of interconnect facilities. It leads to higher cost of service, inefficient handling of call, sub-optimal utilization of network and serious increase of CAPEX and OPEX. The research question in this paper is – how can regulators or operators overcome the problem arising from the bi-lateral interconnection regime in the multi operator and multi service environment? The concept of "Interconnection Exchange (ICX)" can be a solution to the above mentioned problem. ICX is a step towards creation of a modern and efficient telecommunications infrastructure. With the introduction of ICX, operators can combine their services in the most flexible way. This concept refers to an arrangement which provides interconnection among the existing/future telecommunication network of the operators and allows monitoring, lawful Interception (LI) facilities and roaming number portability.

This paper on "the case study of ICX based Interconnection regime in Bangladesh" addresses key issues related to Interconnection Architecture. The paper explains a totally new approach which possibly may provide a solution to facilitate further competition and could be a mechanism as well as launching pad for the ICT density growth in the multi-operator multi-service scenario in developing countries. It could also provide a solution to a number of issues that are coming in the way of getting best results from the investments being made in the telecom sector. It could further lead to many new value additions for the consumers at competitive tariffs. The paper gives the opportunity to discuss the model, suggest for betterment and in best case, gives the chance of framing/replicating the ICX model in other developing countries. This paper on Bangladesh gives an overview of:

- Objectives of ICX - Policy Background (that guided introduction of ICX in Bangladesh) - Details of existing ICX infrastructure in Bangladesh - Network Architecture - Revenue sharing model - Billing & payment settlement - Traffic distribution pattern - Implication on current interconnection regime

Suggested Citation

Sultana, Rasheda, Management of Multi-Operator Interconnection through Interconnection Exchange - A Case Study of Bangladesh (December 6, 2010). 5th Communication Policy Research South Conference (CPRsouth5), Xi'an, China. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1725126 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1725126

Rasheda Sultana (Contact Author)

Grameenphone Ltd. ( email )

Celebration Point, Plot # 3 & 5, Road # 113/A,
Gulshan-2
Dhaka, 1212
Bangladesh

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