Sunday, June 16, 2024

BTRC shuts down RanksTel, Dhaka Phone again

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission on Wednesday sealed off the switch rooms of private landline operators RanksTel and Dhaka Phone again for their failure to provide lists of their subscribers.
The commission chairman, Zia Ahmed, told New Age the landline operators had failed to provide the commission with lists of subscribers.
The commission shut down the operation of PSTN operator Dhaka Phone on March 15 and of RanksTel on March 19 for their suspected involvement in illegal call termination through voice over internet protocol.
Thousands of subscribers of the PSTN operators faced problems because of the commission move.
The BTRC, earlier, allowed the companies on Tuesday to resume operation on condition that the commission should be provided with lists of their subscribers.
The commission, with the help of the Rapid Action Battalion, conducted raid on RanksTel offices at Eskaton and Tejgaon on Thursday and shut down its operation. RanksTel subscribers have since remained off the network.
A top executive of the Ranks Telecom Ltd, brand-named RanksTel, told New Age the commission had sealed the switch room in the afternoon.
‘We have important subscribers such as hospitals, corporate offices and banks and they will all suffer because of the commission’s high-handedness,’ the RanksTel executive said.
The commission filed a case under the Bangladesh Telecommunications Act 2001 against 12 of the company, including the RanksTel president.
With 3,00,782 subscribers, Ranks Telecom Ltd is the largest private fixed line operator, according to the commission.
A senior engineer of Dhaka Phone told New Age the commission team had sealed off the switch room.
In 10 days, the telecoms regulatory commission have sealed shut down the operation of five companies.
Five of the 13 PSTN operators in Bangladesh had more than 5.5 lakh, out of the total 17,18,675, subscribers by the end of February. RanksTel had 3,00,782 subscribers, People’s Telecom 16,163, Dhaka Telephone Company Ltd which is brand-named Dhaka Phone 77,765, National Telecom 1,38,266 and WorldTel 14,261.
The commission shut down the operation of PSTN operator WorldTel on March 17, People’s Telecom on March 21 and National Phone on 23 for their suspected involvement in illegal VoIP business.
The commission chairman said legal battle against the operators would continue. ‘If the operators fail to explain their deeds, actions will be taken in keeping with law.’
According to the Telecom Act 2001, imprisonment or penalty up to Tk 10 lakh or both, may be awarded if anyone is found involved in such practice.
The commission earlier formed a six-member committee, led by its commissioner Aliwardy Khandaker, to further investigate the operator’s involvement in illegal VoIP business.
The commission chairman said after the recent drives, international call termination through legal channels jumped to more than 5.1 crore minutes a day from three crore minutes before March 14.
On March 15, the law enforcers arrested five top officials of the Dhaka Phone in this connection.
A Dhaka court, meanwhile, on Wednesday rejected a bail prayer filed by the Dhaka Phone chairman, ATM Hayatuzzaman, and the managing director, KM Shahidullah.
Dhaka metropolitan district judge ANM Bashirullah rejected the bail prayer.
BTRC official Kawsar Amed on December 25 filed a case with Badda police and the Dhaka Phone executives were shown arrested in the case.
On Tuesday, the commission also filed a case against seven top executives of the Peoples Telecommunication and Information Services Ltd with the Gulshan police.

Courtesy of NewAgebd

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