A Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission committee has recommended that the international internet gateway (IIG) licence of Bangla Phone Limited should be revoked as the company has failed to commence operation within the stipulated time.
If the BTRC revokes Bangla Phone’s IIG licence, it will be the second telecommunication service licence that the company will lose as the telecom regulator recently scraped the ISP licence of the company.
A three-member committee headed by BTRC director MA Taleb Hossain made the recommendation for cancelling IIG licence of Bangla Phone in its report submitted to the commission last week.
The report was made following a meeting with Bangla Phone officials on July 19 this year, sources inside BTRC said.
IIG serves as an internet gateway for routing international incoming and outgoing internet-based data and all the ISPs are connected to global internet through the IIG service operators.
The committee was formed following an instruction of the telecommunication ministry that was issued on April 4 this year when the BTRC made a proposal before the ministry to cancel IIG licence of Bangla Phone for not fulfilling roll-out obligation, among others.
Earlier in November 2017, the BTRC decided to cancel IIG licence of Bangla Phone.
As instructed by the ministry, the committee held meeting with top five officials of Bangla Phone including its managing director Amjad Hossain Khan.
The committee scrutinised allegations against Bangla Phone including installation of point of presence (PoP) in 37 districts and 24 Upazilas without prior approval from BTRC, took IP transit or capacity on trial basis from Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company and laid out fibre for setting terminal at BTRC.
BSCCL, however, denied giving any connection to Bangla Phone, reflecting that the operator misinformed BTRC.
In the meeting with BTRC’s committee, Bangla Phone officials said that it did not sign any deal with BSCCL for bandwidth use and giving such information to BTRC was a mistake of its officials.
Bangla Phone officials also said the officials mistakenly showed its internet service providing entity’s PoPs as IIG entity’s PoPs.
Bangla Phone got IIG licence on April 12, 2012 and was supposed to roll out its services within four months after getting the licence.
The IIG operator, however, failed to start its operation within the stipulated timeframe in violation of licencing guidelines.
In June 2013, after more than a year of getting licence, Bangla Phone sought more time to fulfil the roll out obligation.
Although the commission extended the roll-out timeframe to December 31, 2013, the operator failed again.
Earlier in last few years, the telecom regulator cancelled licences of two other IIG service providers’ licences— Integrated Business Systems and Solutions (Pvt) Ltd and FM-Spectrum Telecom Limited— due to the entities’ failure to comply with roll out obligations.
Except three companies — Bangla Phone, Integrated Business Systems and Solutions and FM-Spectrum Telecom Limited—another 33 companies were running IIG service, showed BTRC website data.
Meanwhile, BTRC cancelled ISP licence of Bangla Phone, also a zonal PSTN licence holder, that has been running its operation in a very limited scale, for running nationwide telecommunication transmission network business without having licence for providing such service.
The issue of licence cancellation of Bangla Phone, however, is sub judice now.
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