First of all some captions with links. 10 GP high-ups sued for VoIP involvement,Local AccessTel, Malaysia's DiGi Tel also stand accused, THE DAILY STAR, GP accused of transfer of fund thru' illegal VoIP use, THE FINANCIAL EXPRESS, BTRC sues GP big guns for illegal VoIP links, bdnews24.com.
If you don't want to go through the above mentioned articles, here, I am putting a sum for you to know what I'm going to talk about. Bangladesh Tele-communication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC), the country's telecoms watchdog, has filed a case against 10 former and in service high officials including two former CEOs at the country's leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone, accusing their involvement in illegal international call termination or VoIP. In addition, AccessTel, a local internet service provider, and Malaysia-based international call carrier DiGi Telecommunications are also on the accused list. They are being accused of being involved in illegally transferring millions of dollars worth of foreign calls using VoIP technology.
Now there are some vital issues to be talked about, and discusses thoroughly. We know that just a few months back GP, and other mobile operators, being accused of such illegal involvement in VoIP business, has paid a large amount of money to the government. At that time the CEOs of those accused companies claimed to have not been informed about those activities in their office premises. A serious question can be raised here. How could you not know what's happening in your very house? The Daily Star writes, "On examining some phone email documents and phone tapping of GP high officials, we can clearly say that the high-ups of the company were involved in the malpractice,” said a BTRC high official. We should understand, the operation of VoIP business is not a child's game. It requires major plans, and implementations, specially if you are doing it illegally. I don't know how they could get away with those amateurish answers. Another important question may be asked, why Erik Aas, immediate past GP's chief executive officer, left GP in such a situation? Did he smell the rat before? If Mr. Erik Aas left smelling this, the question is what led him think so?Questions keep coming. Why GP? Why not any other telecoms? Are there any other motives? As of now, I don't have any information regarding these issues. Is BTRC going to sue every company who was/is involved in this illegal business? If yes, by when? It's really good to see BTRC taking initiatives to stop the illegal practices, but they should also not forget that suing different companies will only create havoc in the sound economy of the country, they must art out some plans to balance the problem on both sides. We know, GP is the country's telecom leader with over 16 million subscribers. More than some thousands people are directly or indirectly involved with GP. Any of their decision will, undoubtedly, affect millions of people of the country.
According to bdnews24.com, "GP's Head of Revenue Assurance Espen Wiig Warendroph had verbally instructed his staff not to reveal the call records of a specific phone number to the elite crime buster. The number was found to have been used by AccessTel in VoIP call termination, BTRC said". Now, what could be the reason behind that? Here, who's saving who? What's so important about that number, and AccessTel? These things must be sorted out and revealed to the public after proper inquiry.
According to The Financial Express, "Foreign call transfer is a restricted service under the country's telecommunication laws 2001. Only the state-owned BTTB can transfer millions of foreign calls routed to the country. A telecom company gets a slice of the tariff, currently ranges between Tk1.40 taka and Tk6.00 per minute if it allows its network to transfer foreign call in Bangladesh. Bangladesh with over five million people living abroad receives over 25 million minutes of foreign calls a day, making call-transfer a huge cash cow for telecom companies. Telecom officials said the market for foreign call transfer is about Tk 20.00 billion a year, growing about 15 per cent. The GP and four other mobile operators were earlier fined Tk 6.15 billion for using VoIP technology illegally in the country. GP's fine at Tk 1.64 billion was the highest."
I wonder how GP will get itself on the track after these consequences. Again, it is preparing to offload its shares in the capital market by the third quarter of the current calendar year. Any thing can happen out there when you start playing the capital game. Once your image has been damaged you are in deep trouble. GP should have never played with fire to make more money while it was enjoying the cash cow's milk being the leader in the industry. They should have planned to uplift the country, not to loot it like the East India Co. did in the name of business. GP's aggressive plans made it suffer, no doubt. You know, it's good to be brave, but sometimes it's better to be wise.
Photo Credit: The Daily Star, bdnews24.com, Internet