The 24th Meeting of the South Asian Telecommunication Regulators’ Council (SATRC-24)

3-5 October 2023, Dhaka, Bangladesh

SATRC-24 was held from 3 to 5 October 2023 in Dhaka, Bangladesh in hybrid format. The meeting was hosted by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). The meeting was attended by 101 delegates representing 9 SATRC Members, 13 Affiliate Members, 1 international organization, 2 other organizations, and APT Secretariat. The objectives of the meeting were to approve the outcomes of Action Plan Phase VIII, adopt the SATRC Action Plan Phase IX, as well as exchange views and share experiences among the Member regulators.

The meeting was inaugurated by Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Honorable Speaker, Bangladesh Parliament with the presence of Mr. Mustafa Jabbar, Honorable Minister, Post and Telecommunication Division, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The meeting elected Mr. Shyam Sunder Sikder, Chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) as the Chair of SATRC. The meeting also elected Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) as Vice Chair of SATRC. The meeting considered the outcomes SATRC Action Plan Phase VIII and approved the reports on each work item under the SATRC working groups which have been undertaken for SATRC Action Plan Phase VIII. The meeting also approved SATRC Action Plan Phase IX for the period of 2024 to 2025 for its implementation. SATRC-24 also approved estimated budget for implementation of SATRC Action Plan Phase IX. SATRC Members committed to maintain their current level of extra-budgetary contributions for implementation of SATRC Action Plan Phase IX. The government of Japan also pledged to provide extra-budgetary contribution for organizing a SATRC Workshop under the implementation of Action Plan Phase IX.

The meeting also included Regulators’ Roundtable discussion and Regulator-Industry Dialogue. The theme for this year’s Regulators’ Roundtable was ‘Regulatory Interventions and Innovations for Sustainable Digital Future’. Under the theme, the roundtable session focused on two key issues:

  • Digital Transformation, a key component to build Digital Future. Topics for discussion included policy and regulatory framework, digital governance, and the digital transformation process.
  • Digital Infrastructure to realize a sustainable digital future. Topics for discussion included safe and resilient infrastructure, expanding access, and digital inclusion.

The theme for this year’s Regulator-Industry Dialogue was ‘Spectrum for Future’. Under the theme, two sessions were organized on

  • how the management of spectrum is playing a crucial role from universal affordable connectivity to making a connecting digital future.
  • efficient use of spectrum, role of the regulators, and cooperation among stakeholders. Availability of spectrum for emerging radiocommunication services and applications including satellite and terrestrial services were addressed in depth.

India offered to host the 25th SATRC Meeting in 2024. The meeting was completed successfully with the commitment of future cooperation and collaboration among the nine SATRC Member countries.