Staff Correspondent: All the illegal, clone, and fake mobile phone handsets will be disconnected from July 1. Shyam Sunder Sikder, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), said this on Thursday during a press conference in the capital.
“The illegal handsets will be blocked from July 1, but we will not disconnect the ones which are in use now,” he said.
“However, all the new mobile phones will have to be registered before reaching the market.” “BTRC plans to launch National Equipment Identification Registrar (NEIR) on July 1 this year. No illegal handsets will be allowed to be used in the country’s telecom network after that,” the BTRC chairman said. In December last year, BTRC signed an agreement with local company Synesis IT to identify and disconnect handsets that were brought to the country illegally and also to register the legal ones.
BTRC Director General (Spectrum) Brigadier General Md Shahidul Alam said, “The NEIR process is underway and it will allow the customers to check the legality of their sets, too.”
From January 16, mobile operators will manually inform the subscribers about the sets that have International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI). Also, everyone will have to register their handsets.
Illegal, unregistered phones will be automatically blocked from networks starting from July 1, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, BTRC has informed the media on Thursday.
However, existing unregistered phones bought before July 1 will not come under this block to make the transition smoother, the newly appointed Chairman of the commission, Shyam Sunder Sikder further informed. To identify whether a phone is imported legally or illegally, BTRC has entered into a contract with local IT firm Synesis IT. The firm is supposed to come up with a technological platform by June 9 to implement National Equipment Identity Registrar (NEIR), a process that will help identify illegal phones from legal ones.
Currently, at least 25% of the smartphones used in the country are imported illegally, causing the government to lose out on a good sum of revenue.
Once the registration process starts, fake and illegal phones and usage of stolen black-market phones will gradually reduce in the country, informed BTRC.
Smartphones legally brought from abroad, personally or as gifts, will be registered accordingly with the NEIR after a careful reviewing of the papers, informed Samiul Khan, Deputy Director of BTRC.
In the media briefing on Thursday, BTRC also presented a report on the advances and achievements in the telecommunications sector from December 2019 to November 2020. During this time period, mobile phone subscribers have increased by 28 lacs and internet subscribers increased by 1 crore 11 lacs. Meanwhile, user complaints during the time period have increased by a whopping 4666% with 11,657 complaints during the 2018-19 FY and 5,55,654 complaints during the 2019-2020 FY.