June 19, 2024, 4:02 pm


Staff Correspondent

Published:
2024-05-09 07:28:30 BdST

BTRC to review increased prices of mobile internet


The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will take action by surveying and reviewing the high prices that mobile companies have set for mobile internet data and bundle packages.

BTRC stated that after reviewing the matter, they aim to arrange a customer-friendly and high-quality mobile internet service for the consumers.

BTRC Director General (Systems and Services Division) Brig Gen Mohammad Khalil-Ur-Rahman responded to questions from journalists and one attendee at BTRC's public hearing on telecommunication services and the regulatory agency's activities on Wednesday.

He mentioned that the guidelines for the mobile internet package had been established earlier through surveys.

“We have removed the 3 and 15-day packages after several hearings. However, we received some feedback after implementing it,” he said.

“We will review the data packages and various bundle packages that are offered. That is why the survey is already underway. So far, we have received responses from more than 65,000 survey participants. We will thoroughly analyse these responses. We hope that by combining all responses, we will be able to provide a friendly and high-quality service to customers,” he added.

Regarding the issue of mobile balance expiration, Khalil-Ur-Rahman said, “We will meet with mobile operators and establish some guidelines regarding what the minimum and maximum balances should be and their durations. We will also discuss whether balance expiration should be allowed.”

Concerning illegal and unregistered mobile phones used in the country, BTRC Commissioner Engineer Sheikh Reaz Ahmed stated that currently, both registered and unregistered mobile phones are active on the country's network.

“However, customers will be given sufficient time if it becomes necessary to disable the illegal phones that are in use,” he stated.

Thus, there is no immediate concern about unregistered mobiles being blocked. All mobile phone sets owned by the customer will continue to work on the network, he added.

Regarding the security and revenue loss from illegally imported phones, this official said that arrangements have been made to increase mobile phone manufacturing within the country.

“There are 17 mobile manufacturing companies involved in this initiative. BTRC is not responsible for monitoring phones that arrive through customs illegally; this is the responsibility of the National Board of Revenue (NBR),” he said. 

A customer complained that they were not issued a SIM card officially, even after providing fingerprints for biometrics at various shops and street vendors.

In response, DG Khalil-Ur-Rahman advised that any fraud related to biometrics should be reported to BTRC.

BTRC Director General (Spectrum Division) Brig Gen Mohammad MoniruzzamanJewel, mentioned that BTRC is not currently focusing on 5G. Enhancing 4G before upgrading to 5G is now the main goal of BTRC.

State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Junaid Ahmed Palak, said they are trying to merge innovation with regulation and through the application of innovative services; BTRC can increase its revenue.

At the public hearing, he instructed that no mobile operator or company should deduct unused bandwidth or balance without the customer’s knowledge.

Spectrums taken by network operators for 5G can be used to improve the quality of 4G whenever possible, he added.

He also directed BTRC to prepare a rational plan for the 5G rollout so that it is straightforward for both mobile operators and consumers.

The state minister emphasised that the private sector plays an equal or in many cases greater role in the economic and social development of Bangladesh than the government.

“We intend to operate on a private-public partnership basis, with Teletalk as a partner rather than a competitor to other mobile network operators, and using BTCL's infrastructure to meet private sector needs,” he said.

“We have already implemented tower-sharing guidelines to achieve more benefits with fewer resources. We will try to maximise the resources of all mobile operators and other telecom service providers in the coming days,” he added.

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