Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has imposed a fine of Tk 50.17 million on Grameenphone for installing 17 mobile phone towers in bordering areas without its approval.
The decision was taken at the 207th meeting of the commission held on 30 January, BTRC secretary Sarwar Alam told UNB on Thursday.
“Grameenphone will be given a certain period of time to clear the fine. But, the time period was not decided yet. Then, the commission will issue a letter for depositing the penalty money,” he said.
Grameenphone has installed these towers in the frontier areas during the 2014 -2016 period, according to sources at the BTRC.
There was no need of taking prior approval before 2014 for installing the towers but after that approval became mandatory. But, the operator did not take any approval from the regulator, according to the BTRC.
“The fine was imposed based on average earnings of Grameenphone made using these towers,” said BTRC secretary.
At the meeting, Grameenphone’s towers installed till 2013 were approved. The commission also decided to direct the operator to follow all formalities to apply for the approval for all the towers in the stipulated time.
According to BTRC, operators’ income in the bordering area is relatively high. Due to security issues, establishing towers in the border area is sensible. So, setting up towers there without permission is not acceptable, sources at the BTRC said.
Earlier last year, Banglalink was fined Tk 170 million for the same reason, but the operator did not pay the fine yet, said the secretary. They will also be notified, he added.
Asked about the issue, Grameenphone deputy director (external communication) Syed Talat Kamal told UNB that they did not receive any letter from the regulator yet. “We’ll be able to inform you about the next course of action upon receiving the letter,” he further said.