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Saturday, 01 March 2008

VoIP involvement

Staff Correspondent

Mobile operator Grameen-phone on Thursday replied to a show-cause notice served by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission which asked it to explain why its licence should not be revoked or suspended for agreement violation.

‘We have received the reply from Grameenphone,’ confirmed Man-zurul Alam, the BTRC chairman.

He said the BTRC would scrutinise the reply and would, if necessary, sit with Grameenphone to discuss the notice served on it on January 30 to clarify its position on its involvement in Voice over Internet Protocol business, and wanted a reply within 30 days.

A Grameenphone spokesman refused to comment on the issue. On January 16 the BTRC sued Grameenphone and 10 of its present and former executives for unauthorised use of VoIP in overseas calls.

Local internet service provider AccessTel and the Malaysia-based DiGi Telecommunications were made co-accused for aiding Grameenphone to transfer millions of international calls through the VoIP, bypassing the state-run telephone company which enjoys the monopoly of routing international calls.

The BTRC in the past week granted three international gateway licences to three private operators to carry international voice calls to and from Bangladesh along with the BTTB, ending the state-owned operator’s monopoly in the business.

In February 2007, the BTRC filed another case, accusing Grameenphone of being involved in VoIP business. The company was fined Tk 168 crore.

The BTRC also fined Aktel Tk 145 crore, Banglalink Tk 125 crore and CityCell Tk 150 crore for unauthorised use of VoIP.

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