All phones will be auto-registered by June 30, here’s everything you need to know
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has taken an initiative to have all mobile phones (smartphones/buttoned feature phones) automatically registered by the 30th of June. Moreover, the process of identifying and blocking illegal mobile phones will continue, as from the 1st of July, any unauthorised, cloned or counterfeit handsets bought by evading tax or illegal means will no longer get registered or work.
Everyone will have to register their handsets. Below are some additional details regarding the policy you might find useful:
The new technology
BTRC plans to launch a National Equipment Identification Registrar (NEIR). The technology is going to be activated mainly from July 1.
The database will synchronise the data of the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number of the handset, the number (MSISDN) of the SIM card, and the biometric contacts of the customers with the SIM cards, and any fake or illegal phones will not be allowed to be used in the country's telecom network after that.
Even if the handset remains active, the customer will not be able to use sim services such as mobile data usage or call related services.
The initiative is being taken to stop illegal phone imports, mitigate the hazards of theft or cloning, ensure the security of customer information, and prevent fraudulent activities by easily identifying or tracking criminals.
The registration process
All domestic and foreign mobile phones that connect to the country's network will be legalised automatically. So, the users do not need to do anything at present. Any handset currently in use will not get blocked.
One can verify the validity of their phones by dialling *16161#. They can also check the legal status of a phone by typing "KYD<space>15 digit IMEI number" and sending the message to 16002. A reply SMS will confirm the legitimacy of the handset.
If the IMEI number of the mobile phone set is known, the IMEI number will be available if one goes to the dial option and presses *#06#. It is also written in the mobile box or the attached sticker in the back of the handset.
Customers can get this service at existing citizen portals and customer care centres of mobile phone operators by visiting the neir.btrc.gov.bd weblink.
Buying new phone
Every customer, from July 1, while buying handsets locally or bringing them from abroad, will need to check the legal status of a mobile phone before buying it and then preserve the receipt. The handset has to be verified before buying it. Once the handset is purchased, if it is found to be invalid, it can be returned at full price by showing the receipt. If the selling company does not want to cooperate, necessary actions can be taken by informing BTRC about the matter.
Furthermore, if anybody wants to sell a handset, they can go to a customer care centre and deregister the IMEI numbers from their NIDs. The new buyers of the handsets will be able to register the handset in their name.
After July 1, If a handset is invalid, the user will be communicated through message, and a three-month period will be fixed for registration. The customer can register the mobile phone as valid by showing the purchase receipt or other documents. If the user fails to provide proof of the legality of the phone to the operators, no SIM will work in the phone after the given time.
Handsets from abroad
After the introduction of the automatic registration process, handsets purchased or gifted legally from abroad will automatically become operational after being connected to the Bangladeshi network.
The users will be notified via SMS, asked to verify the authenticity of the information to validate the handsets. There will be a link to the website in the received message to submit the required information online within 10 days to register the handsets on the NEIR.
The users will have to open an account on neir.btrc.gov.bd for online registration and choose the Special Registration option. On the website, the customer's name, NID number, IMEI number of the mobile, purchase receipt, photo or scanned copy of necessary documents or information regarding passport, visa or immigration etc. should be uploaded.
If the registration remains incomplete, the phone will be considered illegal, and the users will be notified about the three-month time. The customer care centres of the mobile phone operators will provide registration services as well.
According to the current baggage rules, a person returning from abroad can bring a maximum of two handsets to the country duty-free and six more by abiding by the paying duty rules.