CityCell ‘faces closure’ with latest demand to pay USD60.7 million dues

1 Aug 2016

Bangladesh’s oldest mobile operator, CDMA-based Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited, trading as CityCell, reportedly faces potential shutdown after the latest demand from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to pay all its dues worth BDT4.77 billion (USD60.7 million) by 16 August, according to the Dhaka Tribune. The regulator also ordered CityCell – part-owned by SingTel of Singapore – to create an option for its subscribers to switch to an alternative operator. ‘CityCell’s service quality has deteriorated, which leads to loss of its market share. If the trend continues, the operator will face a drastic fall in the number of subscribers,’ said a BTRC official. Another report, from the Daily Star, claims that the BTRC is also preparing to cancel CityCell’s rights to its wireless spectrum, noting that the number of CityCell subscribers fell sharply after a biometric SIM registration process was introduced, standing at around 760,000 including modem users at end-June 2016, by far the smallest user base of the country’s six cellcos.

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