Wednesday, June 19, 2024

BTRC shuts down RanksTel operation

The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission on Friday shut down all operations of the Ranks Telecom Ltd, brand-named RanksTel, for its alleged involvement in illegal voice over internet protocol business and arrested three of its top executives.
The arrested officials of RanksTel, a public-switched telephone network operator, are general manager (technical) Kamruzzaman, deputy general manager (sales and customer services) Karim Iqbal Bhuiyan and deputy general manager (technical) Mominur Rahman Chowdhury, according to BTRC officials.
BTRC sources said the arrested were handed over to the Tejgaon police but both the police stations of the area said at 10:30 they were yet to arrest anyone in this connection.
The commission chairman, retired major general Zia Ahmed, told New Age, ‘Our officials raided the company’s headquarters at Novo Tower in the Tejgaon industrial area and seized a server.’
‘We found a difference of at least 11,80,455 minutes between the total calls of Monday and Tuesday,’ he said.
The Rapid Action Battalion assisted the BTRC officials during the raid, from Thursday 2:00pm to Friday 9:00am.
Terming the raid ‘unfortunate,’ a RanksTel executive alleged three of their top managers had been arrested when the BTRC officials failed to prove the company’s involvement in illegal VoIP business.
Ranks Telecom, the second largest PSTN operator after the state-owned Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd, is a member of the Rangs Group, and it launched its wireless phone services on April 14, 2005.
Thirteen PSTN operators in Bangladesh had 16,92,777 subscribers at the end of January and RanksTel had 2,88,272 subscribers.
A RanksTel executive challenged the BTRC authority to shut down the office and its operation. ‘Does the commission have the right to shut down operation, creating problems for thousands of our subscribers?’
‘We have important subscribers such as hospitals, corporate offices and banks, and they will all suffer because of the commission’s high-handedness,’ he said.
An office bearer of the Association of PSTN Operators of Bangladesh told New Age the raid was caused by the recent comment of the BNP’s chief whip Zainul Abdin Farroque, who had alleged that the prime minister’s son, Sajib Wazed Joy, controlled illegal call termination business by using VoIP from the United States and Canada.
The commission, in its ongoing operation against illegal VoIP and internet service business, on March 15 detained five executives of private land phone operator Dhaka Phone, including its chairman and general manager, on charges of providing illegal VoIP services. The company has about 75,465 subscribers.
On March 17, the commission reportedly unearthed evidence of illegal VoIP operation by private land phone operator WorldTel Bangladesh, which had 14,261 subscribers in January.
The commission on Tuesday night raided WorldTel Bangladesh’s switch room at Madhya Badda in Dhaka.
‘We do not want any established and reputed companies to be involved in any illegal business,’ said the commission chairman. ‘After I took office, at least 58 drives were launched against illegal VoIP and ISP business.’

Courtesy of NewAgebd

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