Grameenphone has been hit with new restrictions by Bangladesh’s regulator as it seeks to weaken the operator’s perceived market dominance.
Local newspaper The Daily Star reported that Grameenphone must receive approval from the BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) before introducing any new voice or data plans. Additionally, the operator has until 31st August to validate its current tariffs.
It is now over a year since BTRC deemed Grameenphone to be a significant market power, prompting it to raise minimum call prices and interconnection charges for the operator’s subscribers. However, the implementation of these measures has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Additionally, last year the BTRC hit Grameenphone with an order for the payment of BDT30 billion (US$353.6 million) in back taxes. The operator was ordered to pay the bill by Bangladesh’s Supreme Court in November 2019, and made an initial payment in February 2020 followed by the balance in May.
However, Grameenphone has issued a legal challenge against the bill, querying the original government audit on which it is based. The case continues.