The government has suspended a decision to force illegal and counterfeit mobile handsets out of networks, stepping away from the move considering “the suffering it may cause to citizens”.
The Posts and Telecommunications Division on Thursday sent a directive to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to postpone the process, which was scheduled to take effect this month, reports bdnews24.com.
“Many people connected to networks are facing struggles after the process began. Most of the phones being sold on the market are feature phones, and most of the customers have no idea about how to check a handset’s IMEI number,” said Telecom and IT Minister Mustafa Jabbar.
“We’ve created a database for mobile phone registration, but it was not aimed at shutting down handsets,” he said.
The telecom regulator in September said the National Equipment Identity Registrar or NEIR started an operation from Jul 1 and it will begin disconnecting fake and illegally imported mobile phones from Oct 1.
Manufacturers, importers and traders were warned against selling illegal handsets, otherwise, they will have to refund the customer and face legal action.
Customers were asked to check the legal status of a phone by typing “KYD<space>15 digit IMEI number” and sending the message to 16002, while users of mobile phones, which they either bought or received as a gift from abroad, were asked to register their handsets on neir.btrc.gov.bd.
“The database for mobile phones was done through NEIR. The National Board of Revenue will verify which phones arrived in Bangladesh illegally.