Robi risks Tk 50cr fine over using Bangla Phone service

HM Murtuza | Published: 00:05, Jul 05,2018

 
 

A file photo shows the front view of Robi’s corporate office in Dhaka. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission would fine Robi Axiata Limited Tk 50 crore if it does not stop using nationwide telecommunication and transmission network service from Bangla Phone Limited which has no licence for the business. — New Age photo

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission would fine Robi Axiata Limited Tk 50 crore if it does not stop using nationwide telecommunication and transmission network service from Bangla Phone Limited which has no licence for the business.
The telecom regulator on Wednesday issued a 30-day notice to Robi asking it to refrain from using the service from Bangla Phone, a senior BTRC official told New Age.
In the notice, the commission warned that the mobile operator would face Tk 50 crore in fine if it does not comply with the BTRC decision, he said.
At a recent meeting, the BTRC decided to issue the notice to the mobile phone operator before imposition of the penalty.
The telecom regulator took the move as the mobile phone operator continued to disregard BTRC’s instruction over discontinuing NTTN service from Bangla Phone.
Before Wednesday’s notice, the telecom regulator issued notices to Robi three times in this regard but the company continued to use the service violating its licensing conditions as well as the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Act 2001, the official said.
The commission in the last instance issued a notice to Robi in April but the company did not even respond to the notice, he said.
A BTRC show-cause notice issued on April 25 asked the mobile phone company to explain in seven days, upon receiving the notice, why it would not be restrained from taking telecom transmission service from Bangla Phone.
Asked about the issue, Robi Axiata Limited in a statement issued by its vice-president (communications and corporate responsibility) Ekram Kabir said, ‘We are using Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited’s services.’
The company also said, ‘We have given our reply to BTRC and specifically mentioned that we’re not using services of Bangla Phone.’
Another BTRC official, however, told New Age that Robi had signed a tripartite agreement with Bangla Phone and BTCL.
Under the agreement, BTCL is providing NTTN service by using Bangla Phone-laid fibre cable, which is not acceptable to the commission and the message has already been conveyed to Robi, he said.
As per the BTRC finding, the operator had been using Bangla Phone’s fibre transmission network in many of its sites which were set up in 2013 and located mostly in Chittagong and Comilla regions.
The permit that the commission issued in favour of Bangla Phone Limited in 2009 expired in 2015, meaning that Bangla Phone was also violating Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Act 2001 by continuing its operation.
Supporting Bangla Phone in providing illegal service was another violation of the telecom act by Robi, the BTRC letter said.
The BTRC in a notice on August 22, 2016 asked all operators not to use fibre transmission service from Bangla Phone and also warned that it would take action if any operator was found using such a service from the firm.

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