Citycell may shut down after August 16

Bangladesh’s oldest mobile phone operator Citycell may shut down after August 16 of this year.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has served a notice to Citycell to pay all its dues worth Tk477 crore by August 16.

At the same time, the regulator ordered the operator to create an option for their subscribers to provide service through an alternative way publishing a notice in national newspapers.

Citycell goes through a heavy pressure from stakeholders as it owes different banks and telecom operators more than Tk10.17 crore.

The operator continues to see loss of subscribers as the company is apparently doing nothing to boost services.

Presently, the number of Citycell subscribers stands at 700,000, according to BTRC latest statistics.

On the contrary, most of the mobile phone operators in Bangladesh are enjoying increase of subscribers with Grameenphone leading the market.

“Citycell’s service quality has deteriorated, which leads to loss of its market share. If the trend continuous, the operator will face drastic fall in the number of subscribers,” said a BTRC official.

Citycell CEO Mehboob Chowdhury could not be reached despite several attempts.

When contacted, BTRC Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood told the Dhaka Tribune: “We are not saying that the operator will be shut down. As a regulator we are very much concern about the valued subscribers. Citycell will have to manage an alternative way for the customers and must pay their dues. Then we will think the next course of action.”

Citycell is the only CDMA network operator in Bangladesh. It is currently owned by Singtel with 45% stake and the remaining 55% is owned by the Pacific Group and the Far East Telecom.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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