B’desh shuts down oldest mobile phone operator in dues row
Bangladesh has shut down services of the country's oldest mobile phone operator Citycell, snapping its spectrum after the company failed to pay outstanding dues it owes to the authorities. "BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) has shut down Citycell's operations and suspended the spectrum since it failed to pay the dues," State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim said last night at a hurriedly called press conference. BTRC suspended the Citycell spectrum, resulting in the closure of the services of the country s first mobile company which introduced the cell phone in Bangladesh in early 1990s. Halim's comments came hours after a BTRC team accompanied by police and anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) went to the operator's headquarters at the Pacific Centre at Dhaka’s Mohakhali area to shut down its operations. On Wednesday, Citycell paid Tk 1.30 billion in dues, contradicting with the regulator's estimate of Tk 3.18 billion the company needed to pay as the first instalment.