Even though ten months have passed, the initiative to set up the National Equipment Identity Register (NEIR) has not got of anywhere with any tangible progress. BTRC in December last year took the decision to introduce the NEIR The commission in its notice on the draft directives asked individuals and entities associated with the mobile phone industry including the customers to give their comments by July 18 this year.
When asked, a high official of the regulator avoided its failure and instead said that the prevention of illegal handset import and protect them from illegal traders and smugglers would be possible after the launch of the National Equipment Identity Register (NEIR). According to the commission, the registration processes of handsets brought into the country during and after 2018 have not started.
Bangladesh Fails to Set-Up System to Control Illegal Devices
At present, neither the government nor the mobile phone operators or the mobile phone importers have any tool to check the use of an illegally imported handset, which is causing around Tk 1,000 crore losses to the government and eating away the sales of handsets imported by legal importers.
Earlier, BTRC chairman Jahirul Haque said: “Individuals importing/carrying mobile devices from abroad for personal use will be required to register the IMEI of the devices in the National Equipment Identity Register (NEIR) through personal/manual/web registration interface provided by the NEIR.”
Mobile phone importers and manufacturers have long been demanding setting up of the NEIR for the prevention of illegal handset import and to protect them from illegal traders and smugglers.
The draft directive came after the BTRC’s decision in December last year to introduce the NEIR. The commission in its notice on the draft directives asked individuals and entities associated with the mobile phone industry including the customers to give their comments by July 18 this year.
After the launch of the NEIR, it is expected that any illegal or fake IMEI number would be disconnected, said the commission
Earlier, the BTRC had told buyers to check before purchasing a mobile phone whether its IMEI number was registered with the commission.
According to the commission, any interested buyer can dial *#06# from the phone set to know its 15-digit IMEI number. After this, the IMEI number of that particular set will be displayed on the screen. This number should be sent to 16002 through SMS to check if the set is registered with the BTRC.
Only after confirming this, one should purchase the mobile set and collect the money receipt from the seller, said BTRC chairman Md Jahurul Haque.
An unregistered IMEI number is either fake or an illegal copy as all the legally imported or assembled sets are registered in the BTRC database, he added.
According to the draft guidelines, subscribers will request access to MNOs who will record the IMEI, mobile station international subscriber directory number (MSISDN), international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) and other attributes in the EIR of their own subscribers.
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