Dhaka pulls the plug on 'vulgar' talk

Bangladesh has ordered mobile phone operators to stop offering free late-night calls to protect "moral values" of young people.

    Bangladesh has over 9 million mobile phone users

    In the mainly Muslim and deeply conservative country, where dating is discouraged, parents complained to the telecoms regulator, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC), that the free night calls were changing their children's behaviour.

    "The commission has taken the decision following a flurry of complaints by parents against such free late-night facilities," a commission official said on Monday.

    The move has not gone down well with the young. "Such an order is shocking and surprising," said university student Kaushik Ahmed, in Dhaka. "Parents should be able to build up their children properly and inject values in them before turning to telecom regulators to shape their lives."

    Two of Bangladesh's five mobile phone firms - GrameenPhone, a unit of Norway's Telenor, and CityCell, a venture between SingTel and Bangladesh Telecom - offer the free calls between midnight and 6am to attract the active youth market.

    "We are surprised to receive such a letter from BTRC because the customers benefit from increased competition," said Syed Yamin Bakht, general manager of market leader GrameenPhone.

    As in many developing nations, mobile phone services are taking off rapidly, far outstripping landlines. Bangladesh, with a population of 140 million, has 9 million mobile phone users - a figure expected to double to 18 million this year. There are one million fixed-line phones.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The man we call 'Salman Rushdie' today is not the brilliant author of the Satanic Verses, but a Picassoesque imposter.

    The Beirut Spy: Shula Cohen

    The Beirut Spy: Shula Cohen

    The story of Shula Cohen, aka The Pearl, who spied for the Israelis in Lebanon for 14 years.