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Grameenphone Faces Tk 300 Crore Fine for Call Drop Issues

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The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has issued a show cause notice to Grameenphone due to an excessive number of call drops. The telecom operator could face a fine of up to Tk 300 crore if it fails to provide a satisfactory explanation.

The notice was issued on July 1.

Junaid Ahmed Palak, the State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, informed journalists of this development after inaugurating the GPT platform ‘G-Brain’ at the ICT Tower in Agargaon, Dhaka, on Wednesday afternoon.

“We have issued an initial show cause notice to Grameenphone. Further analysis is underway. If they can provide a valid explanation, they may be pardoned as they were last time. However, if they fail to justify their actions properly, BTRC can impose fines ranging from Tk 100 crore to Tk 300 crore,” stated Palak.

He added, “We had asked for explanations from four mobile network operators (MNOs) regarding our test drive on July 30.”

The BTRC conducts ‘Quality of Service (QoS) Drive Tests’ to verify the service quality of mobile phone operators, checking voice calls, data, and network coverage.

Engineer Md. Mahiuddin Ahmed, Chairman of BTRC, mentioned that voice and data services on Grameenphone’s network did not meet the expected standards in the drive test. The BTRC is investigating the reasons behind this shortfall.

“If any operator fails to maintain the expected service quality, BTRC will take action. Customers should not suffer any inconvenience,” emphasized the BTRC Chairman.

According to the Quality of Service (QoS) guidelines, there is a provision for up to 2% call drops for voice calls. For call setups, BTRC has set a specific time limit of seven seconds. Additionally, a minimum download speed of 7 Mbps is required for 4G technology.

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PM’s China Visit: Nagad Signs Pact with Huawei

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NAGAD Signs Pact with Huawei

Bangladesh has taken a significant step towards enhancing its digital financial services as NAGAD Limited and Huawei Technologies signed a landmark agreement. The deal aims to revolutionize the country’s digital transaction experience by integrating world-class smart transaction technologies through NAGAD’s digital banking and mobile financial services.

The agreement, signed on Tuesday (July 9) at Beijing’s Shangri-La Hotel in the presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, marks a pivotal moment for Bangladesh’s digital economy. It underscores the commitment to bolstering digital banking capabilities, ensuring that customers of NAGAD can enjoy seamless international transactions anytime, anywhere.

Representing NAGAD, the agreement was endorsed by its founder and CEO, Tanvir A. Mishuk. Among the dignitaries present were Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Foreign Minister Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Industry and Investment Affairs Salman F Rahman, State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications, and Information Technology Junaid Ahmed Palak, and NAGAD’s Chairman Farid Khan.

Huawei’s South Asia Region President and CEO Pan Yunfei signed the agreement on behalf of Huawei. Several senior officials from the Chinese government were also in attendance, highlighting China’s support for Bangladesh’s economic growth and digital inclusion efforts.

Chairman of NAGAD Digital Bank, Farid Khan, commented on the significance of the agreement, stating that over the past five years, Bangladesh has seen a profound transformation in its financial landscape. Now, with global collaboration on the horizon, NAGAD and Huawei aim to propel Bangladesh towards a smarter future. NAGAD’s digital banking initiative will play a pivotal role in achieving a Smart Bangladesh, fostering significant advancements in the country’s economic framework.

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Inspira Hosts MSME Digital Security & Data Protection Dialogue

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Inspira Hosts MSME Digital Security & Data Protection Dialogue

Inspira Hosts Policy Dialogue on MSME Digital Security and Data Protection

Dhaka, June 9, 2024 – Inspira, in collaboration with USAID, DAI, and DCCP, successfully organized a Policy Dialogue addressing the digital security and data protection challenges faced by MSMEs. The event gathered industry leaders and government officials to deliberate on these critical issues.

Md Ziaul Haque Bhuiyan, Chief of Staff of ShopUp and former President of JCI Bangladesh, shared valuable insights during the dialogue. The event was graced by Md Shamsul Arefin, Secretary of the ICT Division, as the Chief Guest. Other notable attendees included Salahuddin Mahmud from the SME Foundation, Khalilur Rahman, Director General of BTRC, Abu Saed Kamruzzaman, Director General of NCSA, and Samira Zuberi Himika, Chairperson of Inspira.

Key Points Discussed:

Restricting Betting Services:

  • Issue: Online betting services are causing financial losses for many individuals.
  • Discussion: Implementing stricter regulations to limit access and protect users from financial harm.

 

Regulation of Grey Channel Devices:

  • Issue: Unauthorized smartphones and laptops with unmonitored apps are entering the market.
  • Discussion: Enhancing regulatory oversight to ensure visibility and security of imported electronic devices.

 

Data Storage Concerns with CCTV Cameras and VTS:

  • Issue: Sensitive data from CCTV cameras and Vehicle Tracking Systems is being stored overseas.
  • Discussion: Expanding BTRC’s regulatory scope to include these devices and ensure data security.

 

Digital Security Education:

  • Issue: There is a lack of awareness and education on digital security and data protection.
  • Discussion: Integrating these topics into the national education curriculum and enhancing public awareness through eCAB, BASIS, and media campaigns.

 

Government Officials Using Insecure Email:

  • Issue: The use of Gmail by government officials poses security risks.
  • Discussion: Promoting the use of secure, government-approved email services for official communication.

 

OTP Awareness Challenges:

  • Issue: Misunderstandings about OTP security are affecting delivery services.
  • Discussion: Educating the public on proper OTP usage to enhance security and service efficiency.

 

Policy on Digital Page Ownership:

  • Issue: There is a lack of clear policies on digital page ownership and management.
  • Discussion: Developing policies to protect content creators and regulate digital page ownership.

 

The Policy Dialogue underscored the necessity for comprehensive strategies and collaborative efforts to bolster digital security and data protection for MSMEs in Bangladesh. By addressing these issues, the event aimed to create a safer and more secure digital environment for businesses and individuals alike.

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bKash Launches ‘Student Account’ to Foster Digital Financial Literacy

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bKash

For the first time in Bangladesh’s Mobile Financial Services (MFS) sector, bKash has introduced a ‘Student Account’ to prepare the younger generation for digital financial transactions and promote a cashless society. This new initiative targets teenagers aged 14 to below 18 years, allowing them to open an account linked to their parent’s bKash account.

Account Opening Requirements
To open a ‘Student Account,’ the following are required:

A digital birth certificate
An active bKash account number of either the mother or father
Parental consent
The initiative aligns with Bangladesh Bank’s directives to foster digital financial inclusion among the youth, supporting the nation’s move towards a smart economy.

Services Offered
The ‘Student Account’ is tailored to meet the needs of teenagers, offering services such as:

Payment of school and college fees
Daily small purchases
Mobile recharge
Money transfer
Bill payments
According to central bank regulations, the account can hold a maximum balance of Tk 30,000. Teens can transact up to Tk 5,000 per day and a maximum of Tk 25,000 per month. They can receive money through the Send Money service but cannot use Add Money or Cash In services, ensuring parental supervision.

Opening Process
To open a ‘Student Account,’ follow these steps:

Download the bKash app and tap on Login/Register.
Select the ‘Birth Certificate’ option after entering the mobile number.
Take a photo of the digital birth certificate and enter additional personal information.
Nominate a parent and confirm by entering their active bKash account number.
A verification code will be sent to the parent’s number, which must be entered within 48 hours.
Upon successful registration, the new account holder will receive a Tk 25 bonus, with an opportunity to earn an additional Tk 105 through specific transactions.

Parental Supervision
Parental consent is mandatory to open a ‘Student Account.’ Parents can monitor all transactions through the statement section of their bKash app.

Maj Gen Sheikh Md. Monirul Islam (retd), Chief External & Corporate Affairs Officer of bKash, stated, “In the future, all daily transactions will be cashless and an integral part of our lives. The sooner teens familiarize themselves with the digital payment ecosystem, the more proficient they will be in financial management. The ‘Student Account’ will be a milestone in the initiative of financial inclusion in the country.”

The younger generation, known for their adaptability to digital technologies like AI, VR, AR, Robotics, and Big Data, will benefit from secure, fast, and easy financial transactions through MFS. This initiative is expected to spark their interest in new technologies and contribute to creating a cashless digital payment ecosystem.

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