The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will run tests in 300 upazilas for six months to assess the service quality of voice calls and data transmission across the country.
Inaugurating the initiative called "Drive Test" on Thursday at the main conference room of BTRC, its Chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder directed officials to ensure quality customer service through concerted efforts using modern technology, and protect customer interest without compromise.
At the event, the commission's Engineering and Operations Division Director General Brig Gen Md Ehsanul Kabir said, "The call success rate must be 97% or above as per the existing rules, and the call setup time should also remain under seven seconds.
"The telecoms are also required to refund minutes for more than one call drop per day, and inform customers about the matter through SMS. At the minimum, the data transmission speed of 3G and 4G services should be 2Mbps and 7Mbps respectively."
Mentioning that nearly all operators are failing to meet the regulations, Ehsanul said, "The number of call drops for each telecom operator is around 5-6 crore per day. The drive test will be conducted to inform operators about their existing service quality, and any improvement will be assessed at a later date."
Commenting on the matter, the commission's Legal and Licensing Commissioner Abu Syed Diljar Hussain said, "It will be challenging to maintain the secrecy of the drive test. So, a serious effort should be made to ensure the accuracy of collected data."
BTRC's Spectrum Division Commissioner Md Shahiduzzaman mentioned that the drive test results will be published at the commission's website so that the public can access it easily.
Meanwhile, the commission's Engineering and Operations Division Commissioner Engineer Md Mohiuddin Ahmed said, "We must be vigilant so that the drive test can be used to safeguard customer interest, instead of just being a formality.
"We must also conduct follow ups on the tests."
BTRC's Spectrum Division Director General Brig Gen Md Shahidul Alam said, "At the international level, the guidelines or regulations are formulated considering the practical experience of customers. So, we must take our steps considering the customers' experience."
The commission's Director General of Administration Md Delwar Hossain reiterated the importance of running more drive tests in rural areas to collect data from the union level.