Some quarters inside BTCL involved
While a government move is on the way to bring illegal Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) operation under a legal cover, some quarters within the state-owned Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited (BTCL) is still terminating international calls with their E1 devices, sources have said.
E1 is an all-digital communications line that allows transmission of voice, data, video, and graphics at high speed compared to standard communication lines. BTCL has 14 E1 devices.
Telecom industry sources said that the Maghbazaar and Mohakhali exchanges of the BTCL have become a center for illegal call terminations. These two exchanges had submitted their call data records (CDR) for only 16 times in the past one month.
They were supposed to submit their CDR on daily basis.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) also has found discrepancies in the data provided by BTCL, ACC sources said.
The commission had, in an April 23 letter, asked BTCL to submit call termination data for the period between July 2010-11 and March 2011-12, as it wanted to probe the alleged illegal VoIP call terminations, made during the period, through BTCL’s international gateways and interconnection exchanges.
While reviewing the call data records (CDRs), ACC didn’t find records of about 45,000 international call terminations made through the VoIP, although the BTCL’s financial statement did record revenue earnings from those calls, the ACC sources said.
The latest data available with the ministry of post and telecommunications (MoPT) say that at present, a total of 5.34 crore minutes of international calls are being terminated daily in Bangladesh, of which, more than 1.50 crore minutes are being terminated by illegal VoIP Meanwhile, a separate probe committee formed by the MoPT discovered anomalies in international call management by the BTCL.
The report prepared by the committee said, the private international gateways and interconnection exchanges use analysers for call data record, which has details of numbers being connected and call durations. But BTCL does not have any such analysers that could measure the international call durations properly.
The report said not having the analysers leave room for revenue dodging and other anomalies. It said landline company BTCL has no billing platform with its interconnection exchange and it cannot measure the actual call durations and bills of calls.
The exchanges are not even properly connected to telecom regulator Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission’s analyser, the report said. BTCL has three exchanges for international call termination but one of its exchanges often reboots, resulting in traffic data loss. BTCL has no maintenance agreement with its vendors so when it faces technical problems it cannot solve them, said the report.
According to the report, international gateways and interconnection exchanges of BTCL are under the same platform and they are connected to other telecom operators, which could allow calls to bypass proper channels.
Talking with the Independent, BTCL director of international calls Sharifuzzaman said, as they had suspended operation of 14 international carriers because of their due of Tk 200 crore, illegal call termination has been increased.
He said, the land phone operator would soon procure modern IGW (International Gateway) exchange, and introduce automated billing system. “Currently, the BTCL uses TDM (Time-division multiplexing) system for transferring calls to international carriers. It’ll be automated after installing the latest IGW exchange”, he said.
Courtesy of The Independent