Update June 17, 2021

Dhaka 5-46 pm, 24-July, 2021

Used illegal, unregistered mobiles won’t be blocked: BTRC

Mirajul Moin Joy

Illegal and unregistered mobile phones will be automatically blocked from networks starting from July 1, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) said on Thursday.

As a result, the IMEI numbers of the mobile phones, which will be not there on the National Equipment Identity Registrar (NEIR) list, will be considered illegal and nobody will be able to use those cellphones.

However, the existing unregistered mobile phones which will be bought before July 1, 2021 and are used by customers will not be blocked though their IMEI numbers don’t exist on the NEIR list, said the BTRC in a press release on Thursday.

The press release said the customers’ mobile handsets which are now used in mobile networks will automatically be registered in the BTRC’s system by June 30. So, the sets will not get blocked from July 1. All concerned have been requested not be confused in this regard.

It may be recalled that the BTRC has decided to shut down all mobile handsets from July 1 next to discourage the uses of illegal mobile phones, ensure security of the customers’ handsets, and increase the government revenues.

The BTRC officials said the illegal and fake mobile handsets will shut down through the implementation of the process.

However, the mobile phones which will be bought from or gifted at abroad, would be given scopes for registration. In that case, customers will have to show purchase documents.

To identify whether a phone is imported legally or illegally, the BTRC signed a contract with local IT firm Synesis IT on November 25 last year.

Currently, at least 25 per cent of the smartphones used in the country are imported illegally, causing the government to lose out a good amount of revenue.

Once the registration process starts, fake and illegal phones and usage of stolen black-market phones will gradually reduce in the country, said the BTRC.

If the NEIR system is completed, the government will receive additional revenue earnings worth Tk 4,000 crore every year.

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