Mobile operators asked to ensure voice call quality, speedy internet service

FE REPORT | Monday, 24 January 2022

The High Court on Sunday directed the mobile phone operators of the country to ensure crystal clear voice call quality, speedy internet service and stable network as they advertise and circulate in TV channels, national dailies and other electronic media to solve the problems like call drop and call disconnection.

The court, at the same time, formed a five-member supervisory committee to monitor the functions of the complaint cell of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) for speedy solution to mobile network and mobile internet related issues and customer complaints.

Secretaries to ICT Division and Posts and Telecommunications Division, BTRC chairman, one teacher from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and representative from Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (MTOB), an organization of mobile phone operators, have been included in the committee.

The committee has been asked to submit a report to the court within 30 days after receipt of the court order.

The High Court bench of Justice Mamnoon Rahman and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman passed the order with a rule after hearing a writ petition filed in this regard.

In the rule, the High Court also asked the respondents to explain in four weeks as to why their inaction in ensuring crystal clear voice call, speedy internet service and stable network should not be declared illegal and as to why the respondents should not be directed to remove any limitation of period in data pack service allowing the subscribers to use the purchased data until full consumption.

Posts and telecommunications secretary, BTRC chairman, Grameenphone's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Yasir Azman, Robi's CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, Banglalink's CEO Erik Aas and Teletalk's CEO Md Shahab Uddin and three other respondents have been asked to comply with the rule within four weeks.

Saifur Rahman Rahi, a Supreme Court lawyer, filed the petition as public interest litigation.

The lawyer who is the customer of all the four mobile phone operators filed complaint with BTRC on January 5 this year against call drop, weak network and limitation of period in data pack service. As he didn't get any solution from BTRC, he sent legal notice on January 10 to the respondents.

Without getting any response from the respondents, he filed a writ petition with the High Court last week, seeking rules and directions. The High Court on Sunday issued the rules and directions after the primary hearing on the writ petition.

Barrister M A Masum appeared in the hearing on behalf of the petitioner while deputy attorney general Bepul Bagmar represented the state.

Mr Masum said, "The complaint cell of BTRC is receiving complaints from customers. But there are doubts as to whether the cell is functioning properly. If it would work properly, these mobile subscribers would not have faced any suffering. That is why we filed the writ petition."

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