Sayeed Muhammad of DOT
The 4G and 3G services for mobile internet users have been restored after a series of restrictions, lasting as many as 74 hours, for the 11th national parliamentary elections held on Sunday. An official at a mobile phone operator said they resumed 4G and 3G services at 10 am on Tuesday on receiving instructions from the BTRC, reports BDnews. The telecommunication regulatory body’s Senior Assistant Director (Media) Zakir Hossain Khan on the same day said the government had decided to come up with the move for ‘state security and to prevent the spread of rumours’ centering the polls. A halt to internet services was considered ahead of the December 30 polls to stop the spread of propaganda. The authorities concerned instructed 4G and 3G data services to be restricted from 10:30 pm on Dec 27 to 8:30 am the next day.
The BTRC again ordered mobile internet services to be halted on Dec 29 for 33 hours. Accordingly, service restrictions were imposed from 3 pm on Saturday.
Until then the BTRC instruction had said that voice and data services for 4G and data services for 3G had to be restricted, but that 3G voice and 2G voice and data services would remain unrestricted. But the BTRC later ordered restrictions on 2G data from midnight on Saturday.
Nearly 27 hours later, at 6 am on Sunday after the polls closed, mobile operators received instructions to resume mobile internet services.
But 4G and 3G services were restricted again at 9 pm on Sunday.
Mobile internet services were again resumed at 10 am on Tuesday after 37 hours of restrictions.
According to BTRC calculations, Bangladesh had 91.8 million internet users as of November, 2018. Nearly 86 million of them use mobile internet.