Govt curbs 3G, 4G mobile services at Rohingya camps, surrounding areas

The government has restricted telecommunication services in and around Rohingya shelters in keeping with its efforts to cut the refugees' access to mobile phones.

Published : 3 Sept 2019, 03:26 PM
Updated : 3 Sept 2019, 03:26 PM

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission or BTRC ordered mobile network operators to shut down 3G and 4G services in these areas for 13 hours between 5pm and 6am daily.

As per the directive, 2G services will remain operational, meaning mobile users can make voice calls but will be barred from accessing the internet during the designated hours.

But all types of mobile services will be available to residents from 6am to 5pm.

As the Rohingya refugee camps are situated in Cox's Bazar's Teknaf and Ukhiya, natives of these upazilas will also be affected by the communication blackout.

More than 1.1 million Rohingyas forcibly displaced from their homeland Myanmar are currently taking refuge in these camps.

A third of the population in these parts is made up of Bangladeshis, according to government officials.

The telecom regulator on Tuesday issued an order to mobile phone operators to ensure in seven days that the Rohingya refugees do not get access to mobile phones.

BTRC Chairman Zahurul Haque told, "An order has been sent to operators in this regard today (Tuesday) and they are working to implement it."

Asked about the implication of the decision on locals, Zahurul said the directive will remain effective until further notice.