Instead of low-cost data, the authority should insist on quality service and customers' satisfaction, said Erik Aas, chief executive officer of Banglalink, the third largest mobile operator of the country.
The telecom industry's total revenue has been falling due to customers' growing reliance on over-the-top (OTT) platforms, such as Messenger, IMO, WhatsApp, Signal and Viber for voice calls.
"If the usage of these OTT apps remains unregulated, mobile operators will see a big damage in their business," he said on Monday, while talking to journalists at his office.
The total revenue of the mobile operators was Tk 26,080 crore last year, which was Tk 26,380 in 2019.
During the time, the largest mobile operator, Grameenphone lost 2.8% revenue while the second-largest operator, Robi Axiata Limited's revenue in voice calls dropped by 9.9%.
All the telecom companies registered a remarkable growth in data revenue, but that did not boost the overall revenue.
The companies have been discussing the issue with Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, Erik said.
On the other hand, England-based Cable.co.uk data shows that mobile internet in Bangladesh costs more than in neighbouring countries, such as India and Pakistan.
The cost of 1GB mobile data is Tk 59.30, which is only Tk 7.62 in India and Tk 58.45 in Pakistan, according to Cable.co.uk.
The Banglalink CEO said population density and inadequate infrastructure were reasons behind slow mobile internet and call drops.
Most of the operators could not invest in network expansions due to complications in the tower sharing guidelines and the pandemic, he said.
After procuring additional spectrum in the last auction, Banglalink has retained the top position among all private operators in terms of spectrum per subscriber.
Banglalink's total spectrum will be increased from 30.6 MHz to 40 MHz, as it has acquired 4.4 MHz spectrum in 1800 MHz band and 5 MHz spectrum in 2100 MHz band.
The operator was rated as the fastest mobile network in the country for the year 2020 by Ookla Speedtest Global Index.
Talking about its service, Erik Aas said Banglalink's acquisition of the additional spectrum was yet another landmark "in our endeavour to serve our customers".
Talking about the future target, he said Banglalink was not aiming for the top position in terms of the number of subscribers.
"It is more important to us to satisfy the customers with a stable revenue," he said.