BTRC to monitor mobile internet speed in rural areas 

The telecom regulator is set to start a field-level monitoring drive Saturday in three districts to gauge the quality of data service following complaints from customers.
The drive will eventually cover 45 upazilas in 15 districts. Other than checking the internet speed with equipment, the team from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission will also seek users’ opinion.
During the drive, representatives from the top three mobile phone operators will also be present alongside the BTRC team.
The move comes after the regulator got inundated with complaints of poor mobile internet speed in rural Bangladesh.
Some even said that they were charged for 3G price plans but were in fact receiving 2G speed. The regulator is very serious about data pricing and user satisfaction, said Md Sarwar Alam, spokesperson for BTRC.
It will take action against the operators after receiving the findings from the field team, he said.
In January 2014, BTRC issued a ‘quality of service’ directive following a trend of increasing call drops, poor network coverage and unsatisfactory customer care support.
Alam said all mobile phone operators must comply with the service quality directive.
Meanwhile, the telecom regulator has also requested a consultant for data pricing from the government. Depending on the report from the field monitoring team, BTRC will then fix a price and data speed for the operators.
The service quality directive stipulates that the operators must ensure call success rate of 95-97 percent; the maximum call drop rate will be 2-3 percent.
The monthly completion rate for short message service (SMS) has to be at 80 to 85 percent, it said. The directive also set an acceptable number of customer complaints for the operators and the response time for customer care services.
Meanwhile, BTRC instructed operators to stop the auto-renewal feature of data packs, as many subscribers opt for it without even knowing.
In the SMS sent out yesterday, the operators said subscribers will have to send a text message to 5000 stating ‘on’ to continue with their renewal packages; otherwise, it will be suspended.

-With The Daily Star input

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