No plan to restrict free calling apps: Tarana

The government has no plan to restrict the voice call through different communication apps like viber, imo and whatsapp, State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim said.

We are committed to stop illegal use of VoIP, but has no plan to bar free calling through communication apps, she told BSS today at her ministry's office.

Referring to her ministry's continuous effort to curb illegal call termination through VoIP, she said the efforts would be continued with the 'zero tolerance' approach.

The state minister came up with the announcement to clear the government's stand on use of OTT (Over-the-Top) or communication apps.

Earlier on Friday, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Dr. Shahjahan Mahmood said that BTRC would formulate a guideline on use of OTT as those free calling apps are contributing to cut legal international call termination. Some media, however, categorically reported that the communication apps such as viber, imo, whatsapps and wechat would be banned.

According to BTRC, the country is now registering 70-80 million minutes international calls a day. The volume of calls surged to 123 million minutes a day after reducing the call rate to 1.5 cents at the end of 2014 from 3 cents. But the volume of calls dropped again after increasing the call rate to 2 cents.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)