News From Telecom World

BTRC to stop inflow of fake mobile sets

Posted on: November 4, 2008

The telecom watchdog yesterday (3 Nov ‘08) decided to form a committee to find out a way to stop the import of fake mobile phone sets in an effort to maximise revenue earnings.

The decision was taken at a meeting of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) with the leaders of the Mobile Phone Importers Association of Bangladesh.

Some importers, BTRC officials and customs officials will be on the committee, a senior BTRC official said.

In the meeting, the BTRC asked the mobile phone set importers not to follow illegal channels.

On average, Bangladesh, a telecom market of 45 million customers, imports eight lakh mobile sets a month with three lakh sets being imported through illegal channels.

Importing spurious sets is not new in Bangladesh. Since the GSM (global system for mobile communication) introduced its phone here, a lot of mobile sets were being imported through illegal channels.

“Customers are often being duped with spurious sets,” said BTRC Chairman Manzurul Alam. He said the revenue earnings from the sector were also under threat, as the unauthorised importers did not pay taxes.

Around 40 percent mobile sets are being sold through grey market, said Faisal Alim, general secretary of the Mobile Phone Importers Association of Bangladesh.

He said brand sets importers are also in trouble. Authorised importers face the trouble as sets being imported through illegal ways are sold at much lower prices in the market, Alim added.

Industry insiders said around 200 importers bring in mobile sets with only 30 belonging to the importers’ association.

“We strongly support all the government initiatives to stop illegal imports. Illegal or unauthorised devices coming into Bangladesh have a negative impact on consumer experience,” said Prem Chand, managing director of Nokia Emerging Asia.

Source: Daily Star

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