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Citycell pays Tk 150 cr in fine PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 January 2008

VoIP misuse

Staff Correspondent

The Bangladesh Telecommuni-cation Regulatory Commission has realised a Tk 150 crore fine from mobile phone operator Citycell for illegal use of Voice over Internet Protocol to terminate international calls causing revenue loss to the government.

'The BTRC has recently received Tk 150 crore from Citycell in compensation for the lost revenue of the government due to illegal VoIP,' the regulatory commission said in a statement Monday.

Citycell is the fourth mobile operator fined for misuse of VoIP. Earlier, Grameenphone, the country's largest operator, was fined Tk 168.40 crore, AkTel Tk 145 crore and banglalink Tk 125 crore. In total, Tk 588.4 crore will be deposited to the government exchequer as compensations from mobile phone companies.

The state-owned landline telephone operator, Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board, enjoys the monopoly of overseas call termination business. Use of VoIP, still unauthorised in Bangladesh, deprives the BTTB of its revenue expected from international calls.

To check the revenue theft, law enforcing agencies and BTRC jointly launched a crackdown on illegal VoIP operators after the interim government took office in January 2007, the regulatory body said.

Earlier in May, law enforces raided Citycell's Mohakhali office and seized huge amounts of VoIP equipment.

Citycell in a statement said it had agreed to pay Tk 150 crore ($21 million) to the BTRC.

'As a matter of goodwill, Citycell has agreed to pay the said sum to the BTRC in full and final settlement of claims by the BTRC relating to the alleged misuse of Citycell products by some of its subscribers in Bangladesh in illegally transferring international calls,' said the statement

'Citycell has cooperated fully with the regulator and government authorities investigating the case. Citycell has been conducting its business in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations and shall continue to do,' said Michael Seymour, chief executive officer of Citycell, whose 45 per cent is owned by SingTel.

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