As it has “followed relevant guideline” regarding payment of dues, licence should not be cancelled, said the reply yesterday.
On December 4, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) served a final show-cause notice to Citycell stating why its licence should not be cancelled if it fails to pay over Tk252 crore dues. Yesterday was the last day to make response.
Citycell, the oldest mobile phone operator in South-East Asia, was allocated 10MHz spectrum. In the reply, the operator demanded licensing guideline be amended in next six months allowing it to switch to GSM technology from existing CDMA technology.
“The company (Citycell) has sent a reply denying any violation of payment rules. It argued the spectrum received was lower than allocation,” said a senior official at the BTRC’s legal wing. However, the mobile phone company stated it would pay other payments.
The official said decision on the matter will be taken in the Commission’s meeting. The operator said due to use of CDMA technology it was counting the cost and losing subscribers every month in the country’s mobile market dominated by GSM technology.
Major part of Citycell dues is 2G spectrum and annual fees, which total around Tk230 crore. BTRC has so far issued six letters since December 2013 to Citycell for the payment of dues. After first warning of licence cancellation in February this year, the operator paid Tk26.5 core and got a chance for paying rest of the money by September.
Citycell started its operation in 1993 with CDMA technology with 44.54% shares owned by Singapore’s SingTel, 37.95% by Pacific Motors Ltd and 17.51% by Far East Telecom.
The operator intended to move to the widely-used GSM technology but the BTRC rejected the proposal on the ground that the company had a huge amount of dues