As proposed in the 4G/LTE guideline, the mobile operators will have to preserve all voice, SMS and MMS and other cellular records for 12 years to help the government fight militancy and terrorism, a top official has said.
The existing 3G guideline imposes a data retention period of only one year.
“We have taken an initiative to retain data and voice for a longer period to trace and track the calls and texts exchanged by suspected militants for ousting militancy from the country,” Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Dr. Shahjahan Mahmood told daily sun on Saturday.
The proposed guideline for 4G/LTE license said the licensees shall achieve all the records, including voice, SMS, MMS data, duration, time IMEI, IMSI, ICCDI, cell ID and the locations for 12 years.
According to the draft 4G spectrum guidelines, the licensees shall also preserve the Call Detailed Record (CDR), Transaction Detailed Record (TDR), system logs or audit trails, network traffic data, IN dump, HLR dump, quality of services and KPI reports with base data, official correspondence, statements/reports etc. for a period of three years for scrutiny by the BTRC or required by security agencies under the law.
The licensees shall also preserve third-party VAS/CP logs of activism/deactivation and service usage for the same period, the draft said.
“After this time period, the licensees may delete any record with the prior written permission of the Commission,” the draft said.
The mobile operators are saying that the proposed data retention period might raise their data archiving cost.
The government has already approved a guideline that fixed the base price of the 1800MHz and 2100MHz band at $30 million and $27 million per MHz respectively.
The conversion fee/charge of the existing spectrum in 1800MHz and 900MHz bands will be $7.5 million per MHz for a 15-year period.The mobile operators will have to share 5.5 percent of their revenue with the government for their 4G services. In addition, they will forward 1 percent of their gross revenue to the social obligation fund, officials said.
The existing operators will be required to roll out 4G/LTE services in seven divisional headquarter within nine months from the date of issuance of this license. The new entrants will be required to complete this phase within 15 months from the date of issuance of the 4G license.
The existing operators and the new entrants will have to complete the second phase or 30 percent roll-out in 30 districts within 18 months and 24 months respectively.
All the operators must complete the roll-out of 4G service within three years in the third phase.
The BTRC chairman said they are ready to hold the 4G auction after getting approval from the ministry.