Mobile users’ body chief asks BTRC to cancel Bijoy app pre-install order
Bangladesh Mobile Phone Consumers' Association President Mohiuddin Ahmed today served a legal notice to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, asking it to withdraw within seven days the order to pre-install Bijoy app in all imported and locally manufactured android phones.
The legal notice, sent through an email by Ahmed's lawyer Ishrat Hasan, said the order of the BTRC is completely arbitrary and the commission is not authorised to serve such an order.
"BTRC hasn't yet shown the legality of the order. So, the order should be revoked," Ahmed told The Daily Star.
The notice of the BTRC is a punishable crime in accordance with the 24th section the competition commission.
It was also mentioned in the legal notice that the BTRC's order has given special benefit to a business organisation and it violated the competition law.
The legal notice was also sent to the chairman of the Competition Commission of Bangladesh.
Ishrat Hasan said a copy of the notice was sent through email this evening and a hard copy was also sent through the postal service.
According to the directive of the BTRC, all imported and locally manufactured Android smart handsets must have the Bijoy app pre-installed before receiving marketing permission.
Otherwise, the commission will not certify them, according to the directive.
The BTRC order was issued on January 13 to the relevant stakeholders, including all mobile manufacturers and the president of the Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association.
After that, the order has drawn sharp criticism.
"The BTRC's directive to use Bijoy keyboard on all Android phones is another absurd, ridiculous and rights-violating decision," said Faiz Ahmad Taiyeb, a writer on ICT, in a Facebook post.
LIRNEasia's Senior Policy Fellow Abu Saeed Khan noted that the BTRC directive did not refer to any section of the law for violators as it lacked the authority to issue such orders.
"This unlawful decree unequivocally raised a conflict of interest as the incumbent telecoms minister is Bijoy's patent holder," he added.
Since 1988, the Bangla typing software "Bijoy" and Bangla keyboard known as the "Bijoy Keyboard" is patented to Mostafa Jabbar, minister of the post and telecom division.
The BTRC reports to this division.
According to industry insiders, Bijoy is widely used in computers and in professional workplaces, especially in the publishing industry.
However, Ridmik Keyboard, a competitor, is most popular among mobile phone users, they said.
Asked about the decision, the telecom minister, however, said Bijoy has already been recognised as a "standard" keyboard by Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution with the recommendation of the Bangladesh Computer council.
The recent decision came following those recommendations, said Jabbar earlier.
However, Bijoy Keyboard is not on the list of mandatory products and services set by the BSTI.