All types of illegal mobile phone sets will shut off automatically from today after users receive text messages about it.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) decided to do so to stop the use of illegally imported mobile phones and ensure the government's revenue collection, says a press release issued on Thursday.
The National Equipment Identity Register (NEIR) was launched on 1 July to prevent theft and misuse of mobile phones and to provide assistance to law enforcement agencies for the sake of national security, reads the BTRC press release.
The regulatory commission earlier requested citizens to check the legality of their phone sets by sending a message, typing KYD <space> fifteen-digit IMEI number to 16002. The IMEI number is printed on a handset's box. Buyers can also find it by dialing *#06#.
At the same time, the commission urged importers and local mobile phone handset manufacturers not to produce or sell illegal mobile phones. It also requested vendors to refrain from selling illegal phone sets.
BTRC Director General Md Shahidul Alam said, "The BTRC will send SMS as soon as it detects a new illegal handset connected to a telecom network. If the user does not register the handset within a specific time, the phone will be blocked."
He also said people coming from abroad can bring a maximum of eight phone sets.
According to the Bangladesh Mobile Phone Business Association (BMBA), there are around 3 crore illegal phone sets in the country, and the number is increasing gradually.
From a legal importer, the government gets Tk3,000 against each device in the form of import duties. But the government loses revenue when a mobile handset is sold or purchased illegally.