Despite licensed operators being present in the market, illegal VoIP activities have continued to thrive in the country. In March this year, BRTC investigated the total consumed bandwidth of the country's Internet service providers (ISPs) in an attempt to curb illegal call terminations or unlicensed VoIP activities. Post the investigation, the regulator shut down operations of nineteen ISPs as their usage of bandwidth didn't match their subscriber base. Along with ISPs, five private land phone operators were also shut down for alleged involvement in the illegal VoIP business. The crackdown on the PSTN operators began with a raid on Dhaka Phone on March 14, 2010. WorldTel, RanksTel, PeoplesTel and National Telecom were also shutdown in subsequent days.
The BTRC attached conditions for reconnection of their customers. These included submitting a certified subscribers list, getting approval from the regulator for E1 connections-30 slot telephone connections used for call terminations-and alerting the regulator before making any kind of changes in their technical infrastructure.
Around 60 mn minutes of international calls are made to and from Bangladesh on a single day. Industry insiders say presently more than 20% of the total calls are still routed by the illegal VoIP operators. VoIP has become a lucrative business as the technology offers international calls at charges much lower than the legal costs.
Hence, the government's decision to add more licenses will be met with a very good response from the telecommunications industry in Bangladesh. As per an amended policy, illegal VoIP operators will get a chance to make their business legal by routing calls through legal exchanges. Earlier, international calls through VoIP were completely prohibited under the International Long Distance Telecommunications Service Policy.
A research survey by Aspect revealed that 17% of the firms have already deployed UC platforms, while 41% of the survey respondents expect to deploy the platforms within the next two years. Aspect added that 56% of the organizations responding to the UC Trends 2010 survey use six or more UC tools.