POST TIME: 13 December, 2019 00:00 00 AM
BTRC forms body to stop SIM registration for illegal VoIP trade

BTRC forms body to stop SIM 
registration for illegal VoIP trade

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has formed a body to find ways to stop the registration of SIM cards used in illegal VoIP business.

Following an investigation, the regulatory body said SIM cards were now being registered by using five types of documents. Among them, four kinds cannot be verified. So, an individual has the scope to register 75 SIM cards.

At present, it is possible to verify if a SIM is purchased only with the NID card. But it is not possible to verify if the SIM is purchased using other identification parameters like the birth certificate, driving licence, passport and official ID card in the absence of a central synchronisation system.

According to the commission's directive, a person is now allowed to register and use a maximum of 15 SIM cards.

A committee has been formed to find a way to prevent the registration of 75 SIM cards against one person and verify customers’ information.

“We have formed a committee, making the Systems and Services (SS) Division director its convenor. The committee will review the direction/notice of the commission on biometric registration and

submit a report on the issue,” said BTRC chairman Jahurul Haque.

The other three members of the four-member committee are the Enforcement and Inspection (E&I) director, Engineering and Operations (E&O) director, and Systems & Services (SS) director.

Earlier, in 2018, after visiting the offices of four mobile phone operators, the director general (Engineering and Operations) of the commission isaid the BTRC seized numerous SIMs, including a large number of VoIP equipment, in a raid conducted to prevent illegal VoIP on March 3, April 13, July 14, and August 1.

According to the BTRC’s licensing guidelines, it is the responsibility of mobile phone operators to ensure proper registration of SIMs.

Four teams, consisting of three officers from the Enforcement and Inspection Directorate of the commission, conducted the inspection of GP on September 29, Robi on October 9, Banglalink on October 17, and Teletalk on October 24 as part of regular inspections to identify irregularities. At the end of the inspection report, it is said that a customer had the scope to register up to 75 SIMs.

According to the BTRC directives, a customer is allowed to register 15 SIMs. But 75 SIMs are being registered against one person as there is no central synchronisation system, the inspection teams said.

All four operators—GP, Robi, Banglalink, and Teletalk—have uniformly informed the commission that a central synchronisation system should be devised for biometric SIM registration or for the re-registration system and verification of customer-related information. They also want a revision of the directives issued by the commission.