Bijoy in phones Criticism follows BTRC directive
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission's order to pre-install Bijoy app in all imported and locally-manufactured android phones has drawn sharp criticism.
According to the directive, all imported and locally manufactured Android smart handsets must have the app pre-installed before receiving marketing permission. Otherwise, the commission will not certify them, the directive said.
The BTRC order was issued on Friday to the relevant stakeholders, including all mobile manufacturers and the president of the Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association.
Since 1988, the Bangla typing software "Bijoy" and Bangla keyboard known as the "Bijoy Keyboard" is patented to Mostafa Jabbar, posts and telecommunications division minister.
The BTRC reports to this division.
"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.
Asked about the decision, the minister, however, said Bijoy has already been recognised as a "standard" keyboard.
He said, in 2017, Bangladesh Computer Council recommended Bijoy as a standard keyboard for smartphones and computers. Based on that recommendation, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) recognised Bijoy. The recent decision came following those recommendations.
Besides, the app will be given free of cost, he added.
"It is only mandatory for the local manufacturers and importers to install the app on their devices. However, the customers are free to use it or uninstall it from their devices. They can use any keyboard they want," he added.
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.
As of 8:30pm yesterday, Bijoy Android Keyboard, which has a 2.9 user rating out of five, was downloaded 50,000 times from the Google Play Store, while Ridmik Keyboard, which has a 4.3 rating, has over 5 crore downloads.
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.