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 Monday, June 02, 2008

Upwards of a million SIM cards will have started to be disconnected in Bangladesh over the weekend as they have missed a deadline to have their user details registered with the operators. The disconnected SIM cards can only be reactivated if the user provides suitable reasons for missing the registration deadline. The million number, supplied by Manzurul Alam, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is a significant improvement on the estimated 3 million unregistered SIM cards in circulation just a month ago. It is estimated that the majority of the remaining SIM cards are connected to the Grameenphone network.

The regulator issued a decree to the operators to force all subscribers to register their mobile accounts and provide proof of ID to the operators. The deadline for subscribers to register their details has been extended several times - but not any more. To register their SIM card - customers must produce two copies of passport size photo, passport or any photo ID card and the forms and documents given during subscription. If a retailer sells a SIM card without proof of ID they will face a fine of US$10 per infraction.

Bangladesh ended the first quarter with just under 39 million subscribers - and according to figures from the Mobile World, Grameenphone is the dominant operator with (currently) some 17.5 million customers and a marker share of just under 46%.

Source: Cellular News.