No compromise on quality service: BTRC chairman
BTRC Chairman Jahurul Haque has said there is "no alternative to quality service" when it comes to the country's mobile network and internet service.
"We're working to ensure quality service. Many operators are failing to provide the requisite service to their clients due to lack of spectrum. There'll be no compromise with operators on the issue of quality service," the BTRC chairman said in an interview with this correspondent.
On tower sharing and upgrading, Haque urged all the operators to be cooperative towards each other. "Each of them has around 25-30,000 towers. The 4 companies who received tower licenses from the authority to build them are yet to reach a consensus with the operators."
Talking about complaints against the four mobile operators, the BTRC chairman provided figures for last March, which revealed a total of 334 complaints against market leader Grameenphone, 448 complaints against Robi, 149 against Banglalink, 166 against Airtel and 101 complaints against Teletalk. Replying to a query about Grameenphone subscribers being reputedly the worst sufferers of network problems, Haque mentioned that all operators have problems to some degree. "When subscribers complain, we take steps to solve those. We won't compromise with anyone in case of quality service."
The BTRC chief mentioned that work is on to solve the problems that the operators face frequently such as load-shedding and battery stealing. Referring to the 'call drop' nuisance faced by almost all mobile phone users, he said a notice has already been issued to the operators seeking explanation over dropped calls.
Illegal handsets, IMEI
Talking about illegal handsets in the country, Haque said 2,76,80,840 mobile handsets were imported last year. There are about 25-30 percent 'gray market' available for handsets in Bangladesh. He said, "About 10 crore handsets remain active in the country. Each year, approximately three and a half crore mobile handsets are sold in Bangladesh."
However, an IMEI database system has been set up in the BTRC to verify the accuracy of handsets and to preserve data stored on the customer's mobile phone handset. Currently, he said, the process of collecting IMEI data from imported and domestic produced mobile handsets is in progress. The process of providing training to stakeholders concerned is also going one.
Haque said as the regulator launched the central Biometric Verification and Monitoring Platform in SIM registration process, it reduced fraudulent activities, including SIM cloning. It helps the authority to verify user's identity according to his or her NID, to blacklist a user, if necessary, and take legal action against perpetrators, he added.
'Significant market power'
Haque said this step was taken following the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Significant Market Power Regulation which was issued on November 14 last year. "So, there's no fear for operators to be affected by the step."
On BTRC's action regarding blocking of porno sites, Haque said it blocked nearly 4,000 such sites so far. Besides, about 15,000 sites were blocked using cyber security system. Regarding BTRC's initiative to reduce internet price, he said the commission has taken initiatives to fit in telecommunication service and make internet service affordable for all. The Mobile Number Portability service is a recently launched service under which subscribers can change their operator without changing their contact number. -UNB