Date: April 12, 2005


SPDC Officials Use Bangladeshi Mobile Phones


Maungdaw, April 12: Officials of the Burmese military government, State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) in Maungdaw Township, Arakan State, are using Bangladeshi mobile phones.


A “City Cell”, Mobile Telephone Company owned by Bangladesh Foreign Minister, M. Morshed Khan set up a frequency tower in Teknaf, a border town of Bangladesh, opposite to Maungdaw Township, Burma in February 2005 and that can be used in bordering areas easily, said a trader from Teknaf, on condition of anonymity as he often goes to Burma for business purpose.


Having chance, the SPDC officials in Maungdaw Township are using the “City Cell” mobile phone to get information about Burmese opposition groups from Bangladesh through their network, villager who has close relation with military personnel.


Besides, “Aktel”, another private mobile telephone company of Bangladesh set up a frequency tower in Teknaf in October 2004. At first, it was highly used in bordering areas but reduced its frequency within one month, as the concerned authorities of Bangladesh alleged that the secrecy of Bangladesh are passing to Burma.


During the period of high speed of frequency of Aktel, local businessmen rushed to buy Aktel phone competitively but later they reluctant to use mobile phone, as the frequency became lower in the areas. So, most of the businessmen the localities feel confusion to use “City Cell” as they have bitter experience with Aktel Company. But some people believe that the “City Cell Company” will not create same problem as to those of Aktel Company, said Nazrul, an owner of call cabin from Nhila village of Teknaf.


All the mobile telephone companies in Bangladesh are owned by public companies and they try to extend their communication network facilities throughout the country. They also set up frequency towers at Burma-Bangladesh border areas to get easy access of communication network.


Burmese people from border areas easily have communication, as frequency towers are being erected in the border areas of Bangladesh, said a trader from Maungdaw. # #


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