Cellphones must have Bangla keypad

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=33947

Cellphones must have Bangla keypad

BSS, Dhaka

The telecoms regulator has decided not to allow the import of mobile phone handsets without Bangla keypad from February next year.

“Importers and vendors will not be allowed to import any mobile phone handset without Bangla keypad after January 31,” Zia Ahmed, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regularity Commission (BTRC), told BSS.

He said the commission took the decision to supplement a national campaign to promote Bangla and make ICT equipment-friendly to common people.

Sources said at present, some vendors are selling cell phone handsets with Bangla keypad in limited-scale only for their business interest.

The BTRC chief said the commission nearly finalised a guideline to issue an order that would allow only cent percent

Bangladeshi companies and vendors to import cell phone sets to promote local entrepreneurship.

Welcoming the BTRC’s move, Bangladesh mobile phone importers association secretary Foysal Alim said that the regulator should have taken the decision earlier for the interest of local entrepreneurs.

At the same time, the telephone regulator has taken another decision to install EIR (Equipment Identification Register) server to every cell phone operators for detecting the duplication of handset IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number.

Currently, there are a huge number of handsets in the market with fake IMEI number.

Sources said some foreign handset manufacturing and cell phone companies including Grameenphone and Banglalink have marketed cell phone sets directly under its own brand for long time. But, they could not run the job after the implementation of new BTRC guidelines.

At present, around 50 local importers are importing cell phone handsets from different countries.

Industry insiders alleged that the handset manufacturing and cell phone companies have made huge profit through marketing the substandard handsets in the country.

The regulator, however, has kept a provision that the cell phone companies would import high quality multi-media handset by taking prior conditional permission from the BTRC.

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