RanksTel relaunching, four others following

19 Jul 2011

Fixed-wireless operator RanksTel won approval from the Bangladeshi telecoms regulator on Sunday to resume commercial operations after a 16-month shutdown. The Daily Star reports that the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) restored RanksTel’s licence and spectrum, after the operator withdrew the case it had filed against the government following its shutdown for alleged involvement in illegal VoIP call termination. RanksTel also refunded some outstanding shared revenue fees and annual spectrum/utilisation charges. But unpaid interconnection charges with the country’s mobile operators would be refunded after operations resume, said Abul K Shamsuddin, chief operating officer of RanksTel. ‘RanksTel got back its licence after it paid all due charges,’ confirmed AKM Shahiduzzaman, director general of the legal and licensing division of the BTRC. The regulator also plans to return licences to four other fixed-wireless telcos – Dhaka Phone, National Phone, PeoplesTel and WorldTel, after they meet the conditions, Shahiduzzaman said. The licences of the five PSTN service providers were cancelled in March last year due to allegations of illegal call termination activities. RanksTel had around 300,000 subscribers and 450 employees last year, but now has no active subscribers, although about 150 staff are still employed there, said Shamsuddin. After the ban, RanksTel had to suspend services to banks, hospitals, multinational companies and call centres. The company has 250 base transceiver stations (BTS) in 35 districts.

Bangladesh, RanksTel,

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