The telecom regulator has slashed the international incoming voice call rate by 66 per cent to only US$ 0.006 or Tk 0.51 per minute due to drastic fall in earnings from the segment in recent years.
Earlier, the call rate was around Tk1.50 per minute.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) issued a circular dated February 13 on the new call rate with immediate effect.
The BTRC took the decision following a proposal by the IGW Operators Forum (IOF) in December last.
A significant portion of the international calls are now being made through the internet-based communication platforms such as WhatsApp, Viber, Messenger, Imo, Skype and WeChat only at the cost for data.
The mobile phone operators also run promotional campaigns of these applications. Relatives of the expatriate Bangladeshis have gradually grown the habit of using the apps.
The International Gateway (IGW) operators are responsible for the termination of international voice calls in Bangladesh from other countries.
Legal voice calls have currently gone down to about 20 million minutes a day as compared to around 100 million minutes a few years back, according to the BTRC officials.
Termination of international calls was one of the main sources of earnings for the government even five years back. But it fell substantially in recent years.
The government's earnings from such calls was Tk 20.75 billion in fiscal year 2014-15, but it declined to Tk 13.87 billion, Tk 9.67.63 billion, Tk 9.0 billion and lastly to a few hundred million taka in the following years till 2018-19 respectively, according to the BTRC officials.
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