Airtel running WiFi service unlawfully: BTRC

February 17, 2015

Mobile phone operator Airtel is running a WiFi service after expiry of its authorised tenure violating the telecom rules, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission officials told New Age on Monday. Airtel, however, said that the BTRC approval for the WiFi service was given to a third-party — iConnect — and the operator had no regulatory concern in this regard.The mobile phone operator is running the service under the name of Airtel WiFi specifically for its subscribers.
The BTRC officials said although the one-year tenure of the WiFI service expired on February 1, Airtel was running the service without renewing it.
‘The Airtel WiFi service has expired the date and no renewal application has been filed yet. So, Airtel is now running the service unlawfully,’ BTRC assistant director Zakir Hossain Khan said.
He said the commission would decide about it after reviewing relevant laws.
According to the Airtel web site, the operator is offering WiFi data packs starting from 25MB to 3GB in 512kbps and 1mbps speed.
The lowest data pack costs Tk 11.5 with duration of one day and the highest data pack costs Tk 460 with duration of 30 days.
The Airtel WiFi coverage areas are: Dhanmondi, Baily Road, Farmgate, Lalmatia, Mohammadpur, Banani, Gulshan, Niketon, Baridhara and Badda, said the web site of the company.
The Airtel users have to send the pack syntax to a specific short code to get ID and password in order to activate the service.
Asked about the issue, Airtel admitted that the service tenure of its WiFi service was expired.
‘Airtel Bangladesh Limited has always maintained the highest standard of regulatory governance and continue to do so. We do not provide wifi service directly to consumers. It is done through a service provider named Iconnect. Other operators also follow the same procedure. We understand the service tenure of Iconnect has expired and the pr vider has already applied for renewal of tenure. We directly have not applied to BTRC for this renewal as
there is no option for it,’ Airtel said in an email reply to New Age on Monday.

-With New Age input

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