Bangladeshi cellcos Banglalink, Robi Axiata and CityCell have been given a two-month reprieve on a Supreme Court order to freeze their bank accounts until they pay overdue tax, after appealing, subject to payment of half the amount owed within ten days, the Daily Star reported. The three firms owe a total of USD47 million in VAT related to SIM card sales.
In separate news reported by the Daily Star, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has written to Banglalink and mobile market leader GrameenPhone asking the operators to explain their failure to comply with a directive to implement ten-second pulse call charging for all subscribers by a deadline of 15 September. The BTRC also asked the two cellcos to reimburse the extra charges applied to subscribers remaining under legacy charging schemes (e.g. per minute call charging) beyond the deadline. A GrameenPhone spokesperson said that the GSM operator has now introduced the ten-second pulse for all subscribers except corporate package users representing less than 1% of its total user base.