Bangladesh's Citycell Facing Loss of Mobile Operating License
Published on: 4th Feb 2014
By: Simon Davies
Bangladesh's Citycell is moving closer to having its mobile operator license revoked after the telecoms regulator issued a warning about unpaid license fees.
The company has been issued with a show-cause notice and given 15 says to either clear its outstanding fees, or justify why it shouldn't lose its license.
The company is understood to owe around Tk145 crore (US$18.3 million), the bulk of which was the renewal fee for its GSM license.
"We gave Citycell an opportunity to clear their dues in installments but it failed to pay. So, we have decided to take a hard stance now," said Sunil Kanti Bose, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
The mobile network has around 1.3 million customers, which makes it the smallest of the country's mobile networks. The regulator said that it will start issuing notices to subscribers to switch networks if the outstanding fees are not paid pending the shut-down of the network.
The company has been struggling for some years, stuck with legacy CDMA equipment and it was barred from the recent 3G license auction after it was unable to provide the necessary bank guarantees.
The mobile network is 45% owned by Singapore's Singtel, which has previous written off its investment. The rest of the company is owned by Pacific Motors (31.43%) and Far East Telecom (23.57%)