BD telecom regulator BTRC serves notice to GP, Robi

Dhaka, Sept 5 (UNB) – Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on Thursday issued show-causes notices to Grameenphone and Robi seeking explanation as to why their 2G and 3G licences should not be revoked for failure to pay dues.

The two mobile phone operators have been asked to respond to the notices within 30 days, said BTRC Senior Assistant Director Zakir Hossain Khan.

The telecom regulator will take steps to revoke licences as per the Bangladesh Telecommunications Act 2001 if they fail to come up with satisfactory replies, he said.

Earlier, BTRC stopped issuing fresh no objection certificates (NOCs) to Grameenphone and Robi over the row about dues to the government.

However, it backtracked from the decision later.

GP has Tk 12,579.95 crore in dues to the government, including Tk 4,085.95 crore to the National Board of Revenue (NBR), while Robi has Tk 867.23 crore to the government, including Tk 197.21 crore to the NBR alone, as per a BTRC audit.

Meanwhile, Grameenphone and Robi have termed the notice unjustified.

“This notice is unjustified and yet another step by the regulator to refuse our invitation to seek an amicable solution related to a disputed audit claim,” Grameenphone said in a statement.

The mobile phone company said it will assess the notice before considering its response. “We’ll take necessary measures to protect the rights of the company, our shareholders and customers against unwarranted actions by the regulator.”
“Issuing show-cause notice over licence cancellation will create an adverse reaction among the investors and uncertainty will be loomed among subscribers. We’ll send reply of the notice in due course, Robi said in another statement.