Mobile operators would be allowed to resell the SIM numbers which will remain inactive for 15 months at a stretch by giving 30-day notification to their (SIM numbers) owners to reactivate the numbers instead of the existing 90-day notification.
Under the new decision, ownership of a SIM number would be cancelled if the number remains unused or inactive for more than 480 days instead of the existing 540 days.
The telecom regulator relaxed the SIM number reselling provision against the backdrop of repeated pleas from the country’s leading mobile phone operator, Grameenphone, to allow the entity to sell a new number series with prefix ‘013’.
The operator in a recent letter informed the Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory commission that the remaining 25 lakh SIM numbers of the operator would be sold out within May 11, 2017.
The relaxation of the SIM reselling rules came from the regulator’s latest commission meeting presided over by its chairman Shahjahan Mahmood, a BTRC official told New Age on Thursday.
According to BTRC statistics, 3 crore SIM numbers of Grameenphone would become available for reselling, which have been remaining inactive for more than 15 months or 450 days.
In March 2015, the telecom regulator had set maximum 2-year ownership for an unused SIM.
Later in October that year, the BTRC reduced the ownership period to 15 months following an appeal made by mobile operators.
BTRC officials said that GP on December 15, 2016 in a letter to the BTRC claimed that its 017 number series would finish by that year.
The company also requested the commission to reduce the ownership period for unused SIM numbers to six months including a three-month notice period. The mobile phone operator for the first time in January 25, 2015 had applied to the regulator seeking new number prefix.
Although the commission decided to assign the new number series of 013, it held back awarding the number to GP till the end of an ongoing audit into the company.
The operator, however, opposed the telecom regulator’s move.