BTRC rejects device locking proposal of GP, Banglalink

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btrc300The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has recently turned down a proposal of mobile phone operators Grameenphone and Banglalink to introduce device locking system in the mobile handsets.

The telecom regulator, however, allowed the mobile companies to put their logos along with the manufacturers’ logos on the handsets under agreement with the importers or manufacturers.

BTRC officials said the two mobile phone operators had recently sought regulator’s permission to offer high-priced handsets along with packages of the respective companies with lower prices where users would be allowed to pay the amount in instalment.

‘But those handsets will only run by the SIM cards of the respective operators as the operators will use device locking technology,’ a senior BTRC official told New Age on Wednesday.
‘But we didn’t approve the proposal as we think this will affect the small handset importers who import low-priced handsets. If we allow this, then the mobile phone operators will only bring high-priced sets to attract customers,’

Through this the mobile phone companies want to bring more 3G and long-term evaluation technology-enabled handsets to the market at cheaper prices to increase the penetration of mobile internet service, he said.
He, however, said that in developed countries such device locking was a standard practice.

Another BTRC official said the commission approved that the mobile phone companies could use their logos in the handsets if they had agreement with the importers.

‘This decision came following a request of Robi to use its logo on handset but the commission decided that all operators will be allowed the facility under partnership agreement,’ he said.

A senior official of GP told New Age on Tuesday that device locking would have helped increase the internet penetration with quality handsets.

‘The BTRC denied giving approval considering the interest of small importers, but it is the right of the consumers to have such a benefit. By prioritising the importers’ interest the BTRC is hampering the interest of the consumers,’ he said.

Source: New Age

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