State-owned operator Teletalk has provided to parliament manipulative information on illegal call termination, according to a report by the telecom regulator.
Teletalk has tried to hide real information and reduced the number of SIMs that were seized by law enforcing agencies, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission said in the report sent to the parliamentary standing committee on the telecom and ICT ministry.
The committee sought clarification from Teletalk a few months back, when the allegation arose that the state-owned operator was directly engaged in illegal international call termination.
In a report, Teletalk said 21,874 of their SIMs were seized in 37 raids by the regulator with the help of law enforcing agencies from January 2013 to August 2016.
Upon receiving this information, the parliamentary standing committee asked the regulator to confirm the information provided by Teletalk.
They found that there was a discrepancy between the real statistics and the information provided by Teletalk.
BTRC said there were actually 46 raids, and 25,903 SIMs of Teletalk were seized. Teletalk also mentioned inflated figures for other operators.
Imran Ahmad, chairman of the standing committee, said he has seen both the reports. “Actually I was quite surprised to see the huge gap in the two reports.”
The matter will be discussed further in the next committee meeting, he said.
However, when contacted, Gias Uddin Ahmed, managing director of Teletalk, said he has no idea about the BTRC report.
“We have provided a report to the parliamentary standing committee a few months back, and I have no more information after that,” he said yesterday. In the 46 raids in total, BTRC seized 92,952 SIMs, 27.87 percent of which were from Teletalk, although its market share was only 3.44 percent.
On September 9 last year, BTRC blocked 32,996 Teletalk SIMs on a single day as those were used in illegal call termination. It blocked 1,469 SIMs of other operators combined on that day as well. “This information also showed that Teletalk was engaged in illegal call termination,” the BTRC report said.
The regulator also fined Teletalk around Tk 14.89 lakh for illegal call termination in different cases over the years; those are yet to be paid. The report also said a huge number of unregistered Teletalk SIMs were not blocked following the biometric re-registration process.