The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has formed a one-member committee to review the penalty it imposed on three mobile phone operators for improper maintenance of customers’ biometric database.
In May this year, the telecom regulator fined Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink Tk 5 crore each for the offence.
A BTRC official told New Age on Sunday that the commission formed the revenue committee comprising BTRC director Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Azizur Rahman Siddiqui following appeals made by the telecom operators against the penalty.
The decision was made at a meeting of the commission held last week with its chairman Md Jahurul Haque in the chair.
The operators filed the pleas under the sub-section 3 of section 65 of Bangladesh Telecommunication Act, 2001.
Under the rules, the committee will now review the issue, taking the explanations given by the mobile phone operators into consideration.
The committee will then make its decision and the operators are supposed to know the decision within three days.
As per the act, the operators will get scope for filing again with the commission applications seeking a revision to the decision.
The commission will then dispose of the applications in 30 days.
The commission earlier found that two Banglalink subscribers — information and communication technology state minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate director general Md Shahidul Islam — suffered SIM numbers misappropriation.
On October 22 last year, Shahidul informed the telecom regulator that someone was using his ‘premium number’ after taking a replacement of SIM against the number illegally.
He also lodged a complaint with Banglalink in this regard and the operator admitted that Shahidul’s SIM was replaced and used illegally.
BTRC officials said that Banglalink had initially informed them that a group of unscrupulous persons in collusion with its 12 sales agents, who had access to its subscribers’ registration server, were engaged in such activities.
The BTRC had sought registration and current status of three mobile phone numbers from Robi based on complaints of the customers on January 27 this year.
BTRC, however, found the Robi’s reply confusing and improper.
On February 3, the commission sent an email to Grameenphone, seeking information about registration and current status of a Mobile Station International Subscriber Decision Number (MSISDN), 01744444444.
The information provided by Grameenphone did not match the data stored in the Central Biometric Verification Monitoring Platform (CBVMP) server, said commission officials.
The commission at a meeting with Grameenphone on February 6 enquired about the mismatch, but Grameenphone could not give the reasons for the discrepancy, they said.
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