Cellphone users must re-register

17 Aug 2007

Nearly half of Bangladesh’s mobile users must re-register themselves under a new government directive to increase the proof of identity necessary to own a cellphone. Cellcos GrameenPhone, AKTEL, Banglalink, Citycell and Teletalk have until the end of October to re-register all customers who subscribed before 28 February 2006 (around 10.5 million users); each handset owner must provide two passport photographs, proof of address and fingerprints at a customer care centre or face disconnection. The operators face fines of USD10 per subscriber they connect without these details being taken. The sector regulator, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), cited alleged use of mobile phones by terrorists as the reason for the clamp down. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, in February 2006 the BTRC introduced a pre-paid mobile phone registration scheme in order to track ownership and restrict the use of unregistered handsets, in response to the threat of bombing from militants.

Bangladesh,

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