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4G licensing process halted

SC stays HC order

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12th-Jan-2018       
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Staff Reporter :
The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed a High Court (HC) order that stayed the effectiveness of the notification of the BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) inviting the proposals for granting license for '4G/LTE Cellular Mobile Phone Services' in Bangladesh.
The Chamber judge of the Appellate Division Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order within two and half hours of the HC order considering a petition filed by the government and sent the case to the full bench of the Appellate Division for further hearing. The Chamber Judge fixed next Sunday for holding the hearing on the case.
According to the notification, next Sunday is the last date for submitting the proposals for granting license for 4G/LTE cellular mobile phone services.
The concerned lawyer said, now there is no legal bar to submit the proposals for 4G license.
Earlier, the High Court on Thursday morning stayed the effectiveness of the notification of the BTRC inviting the proposals for granting license for '4G/LTE Cellular Mobile Phone Services' in Bangladesh.
The HC bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed passed the order and also issued a rule after primary hearing of a writ petition.
The BTRC issued a notification on December 4 in 2017 inviting proposals for granting license for 4G/LTE cellular mobile phone services. January 14 in 2018 is the last date for submitting the proposals, according to the notification. But Banglalion Communications Limited, a private telecommunication operator in Bangladesh, filed a writ petition with the HC challenging the legality of the notification on January 10 in 2018. The HC passed the order after hearing the petition.
Dr. Kamal Hossain appeared for Banglalion in the HC. Advocate Ramjan Ali Sikder and Advocate Saiful Alam Chowdhury were also present in the court on behalf of Banglalion while Deputy Attorney General Samarendra Nath Biswas stood for the State.
Advocate Ramjan Ali said, "The issued notification was contrary to the two sections of a BTRC policy of 2008, known as the 'Wireless and Broadband Policy'. Not more than three persons can get this license, as per section 4.2 of the policy of 2008. Besides this, the government may get a license. And mobile phone operators are not eligible to get this license, according to 4.6(iii) of the policy."
 "The BTRC issued the notification for granting 4G license violating the two sections of the policy. That is why we filed the writ petition," said Advocate Ramjan Ali.
The HC wanted to know in the rule as to why the issued notification should not be declared illegal as it was contrary to the two sections of the policy. Respondents including the Secretary of Posts and Telecommunications Ministry and the BTRC Chairman have to comply with the rule.

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