Bangladesh’s fourth largest mobile operator CityCell (Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited), has been fined BDT1.5 billion (USD22.3 million) by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) for involvement in the provision of unlicensed international VoIP telephony services. The company has already paid half the fine, with the remainder due shortly in two installments, according to the regulator. A BTRC official said: ‘We discovered CityCell’s involvement in illegal VoIP in May last year during a raid in the company’s Mohakhali office,’ adding that the crackdown on VoIP is ongoing. CityCell’s three larger rival cellcos have already been fined for their involvement in the grey VoIP market. GrameenPhone agreed to pay the government compensation for lost revenues of BDT1.77 billion, AKTEL BDT1.45 billion and Banglalink BDT1.25 billion. Bangladesh’s current caretaker government and security forces began the drive against VoIP at the beginning of 2007, and have since uncovered ‘several dozen’ illegal operations. CityCell is Bangladesh’s only CDMA mobile network operator, reporting 1.38 million subscribers last November.
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