Mobile phone users slam anomalies in telecom sector

FE Report | Published: October 10, 2018 10:47:14 | Updated: October 11, 2018 11:15:44

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A section of mobile phone users have observed a token strike by switching off their cell phones for one hour in protest against recent government move in increasing call rate and the prevailing chaos in the telecom sector.

Bangladesh Mobile Phone Consumers Association organised the protest programme on Tuesday in front of National Press Club in Dhaka on the day.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has completely failed to ensure customers' rights, protesters said at the demonstration.

"The condition of the telecommunication sector is deteriorating, even worse than the country's dreadful roads and highways," said Mohiuddin Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Mobile Phone Consumer Association.

There is no accountability in the telecommunication sector, he alleged.

The government in a sudden move increased the SIM replacement charge to Tk 120 in February 14 last, and later on the authorities increased the voice call rate by 50-75 per cent in the name of uniform call rate on August 14, he mentioned.

In spite of withdrawing 10 per cent VAT on internet from 15 per cent in the current fiscal year's budget, the government did not implement the measure; he pointed out adding it was a farce with people.

Besides, the telecom regulatory body has introduced mobile number portability service from first October in which the charge was fixed at Tk 30, but later shortly before launching it has been increased to Tk 50 with SIM replacement charge Tk 100, they added.

The government, by doing all these, is forcefully taking extra charge in the name of expanding services of technology, they alleged.

Mass protest will be enforced if these anomalies are not removed from the government side, they mentioned.

The mobile phone operators are raking in billions of money from customers every day but instead of taking measures, the government is helping operators of looting money, alleged central leader of Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal, Rajekuzzaman Ratan.

He urged the government to take immediate steps to bring discipline in telecommunication sector and lower the call rate charge.

Among others, Jonayed Saki and other leader from left-leaning also spoke at the protest.

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