Telcos asked to stop free, cheap social media offers

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:13, Jul 18,2020


The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has asked the mobile phone operators to stop all the offers that allow mobile phone users to connect with the social media sites, including Facebook, free of cost or at cheap rates.

The telecom regulator on July 14 issued a letter to the telecom operators asking them to implement the directive from July 15.

BTRC vice-chairman Subrata Roy Maitra said, ‘The commission has issued the directive so that a congenial business atmosphere prevails in the market.’

‘If a financially strong operator issues packages at subsidised rates, then the comparatively less solvent or weaker entities would not be able to match their packages with those of the financially strong entities,’ he said.

‘If the telecom regulator allows doing so, there will be instability in the sector and that’s why the telecom regulator has issued the directive,’ he said.

Officials of the Robi and Banglalink mobile phone operators said that the implementation of the directive was under way.

Bangladesh Mobile Phone Consumers Association president Mohiuddin Ahmad told New Age that the step would go against the interest of the customers.

‘The commission keeps mum when operators charge the customers dearly,’ he said, adding, ‘It seems that the regulator is making policies which would be beneficial for the telecom operators.’

‘The regulator does not care whether such policies would be beneficial for the users,’ Mohiuddin said.

‘We haven’t noticed any move by the telecom regulator amid the coronavirus pandemic to come up with any policy that would benefit the students by allowing them to participate in the online classes at low rates,’ he added.

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