Mobile phone service operators ask the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider their power tariff category
The mobile phone service operators want to pay their power tariff under small industry or service industry category. Currently, they are being charged under the commercial slab.
The Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (Amtob) placed its request to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Berc) at a public hearing on the power price hike.
The regulatory commission held the hearing on retail electricity prices of the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The mobile operators need round the clock power supply for their Base Transceiver Station (BTS) and tower stations.
Anamika Bhadra, a representative of the Robi Axiata Limited, said: "According to the Berc act, we do not belong to the commercial but service industry category according to the Industrial Policy 2006."
On the industry's behalf, she asked Berc to put them in the small industry category or a new slab.
Amtob members said that four mobile operators have 30,000 BTSs across the country. And they have been paying the electricity bill in the commercial category since 1996.
Power tariff in the commercial category is higher than the small industry category, according to the latest tariff order of the Regulatory Commission.
At present, the tariff for the small industry is Tk8.20 per kilowatt, while the rate is Tk10.30 per kilowatt in the commercial category.
The Commission Member (Electricity) Mohammad Mizanur Rahman assured the Amtob members that the Commission will discuss the issue in the post-hearing discussion.
Apart from this, representatives of the mobile phone service operators also asked the BREB to ensure uninterrupted electricity to the BTSs for smooth communication.
Running the BTSs with grid electricity is cheaper than running those with diesel-powered generators.
Earlier, the mobile phone service operators had to count Tk35,000 as fuel cost per BTS. The cost dropped to Tk19,000-20,000 once they switched to grid electricity.