Silk City News Desk
Post and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar has taken a strict stand to reduce the price of mobile internet packages. The price of the same amount of data package should not be manipulated just for shorter or longer duration. That is, the price of data for 3 days, he ordered to make the same amount of data for 7 days at the same price. The Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is also strict in implementing this directive of the minister by November 10.
The country’s mobile operators are in ‘crisis’ after the minister’s order. They are claiming that if the price of 3-day data is equivalent to 7-day package in accordance with the instructions, there will be loss in business. They are protesting at BTRC to get some concession.
According to BTRC sources, the association of mobile operators is running with the Association of Mobile Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB). On Monday (November 6), Amtob Secretary General Retired Lt Col Mohammad Zulfikar sought time for a meeting with BTRC Chairman. However, there was no response from the BTRC chairman.
Amtob leaders want to sit down with BTRC chairman Shyam Sundar Sikder before November 10 with the chief executive officers of all operator companies. Minister Mustafa Jabbar’s instructions to reduce the price of data packages, want to inform about their problems in implementation.
However, BTRC Chairman Shyam Sundar Sikder refused to talk about not responding to the Amtob meeting. He told Jago News, ‘The minister has given an instruction. Let them implement that first. Let’s see, what are the benefits to the customers as well as the losses to the operators. Then it can be discussed. After giving a directive, there is no reason to discuss it before implementing it.’
Meanwhile, the three private mobile operators operating in the country, Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink, have been ‘fussy’ about the implementation of the new directive to reduce the price of data packages, but Teletalk has started working as per the minister’s order. They will reduce the prices and extend the validity of the packages by Wednesday (November 8).
On condition of anonymity, an official of BTRC’s System and Services Department said, ‘After the directive to reduce the data package, the operators have come up with new tactics. They have skyrocketed the prices of 7 and 30 day packages. The minister did not like it at all. He is angry about this.’
He said, ‘The minister expressed strong dissatisfaction in the meeting that was held last Sunday (November 5). After that, if the BTRC chairman talks with Amtob leaders about reducing the price of the package, it will be disobeying the minister’s instructions.’
Post and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar told the media, ‘The operators have increased the price by giving the three-day package a seven-day period. They can’t do that. They sell data, not time. The price will not increase with time. We have given instructions, we hope the operators will understand.’
However, even after the minister’s instructions, Amtob and some of the mobile operators were contacted about going to BTRC to amend the data package, but none of them agreed to comment to the media.