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Bangladesh court bans use of Indian film songs as ringtones


A High court in Bangladesh has banned mobile phone users in the country from using Indian or other sub-continental film songs as ringtones or welcome tunes, reports bdnews24.com. According to the publication, the court issued the order following a writ petition by Music Industries Owners Association President AKM Arifur Rahman and General Secretary SK Shahed Ali.

The court also sought answers from the country’s secretaries of culture, information, home and law ministries, and the Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and asked all mobile operators to reply within four weeks.

Following the order, the petitioner’s lawyer, Mehedi Hasan Chowdhury said: “Import policy bars the import of Indian or sub-continental films to Bangladesh. That is why songs of those (films) can’t be used as welcome tune or ringtone.”

Bangladesh had banned the import of Indian films following its independence to nurture its local film industry. But in 2013 it changed its import policy and said films from South Asian Free Trade Area member countries can be imported as long as their number does not exceed the number of films that are exported from Bangladesh.

As of April 2015, Bangladesh had 124.705 million mobile phone subscribers with Grameen Phone leading with 52.354 million subscribers followed by Banglalink Digital Communications Limited (32.044 million) and Robi Axiata (26.630 million).

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Telecom and mobile services from India in Bangladesh 

– Earlier this month, OnMobile Global has tied-up with Bangladesh-based telecom operator Grameenphone to launch a digital music store called Grameenphone Music (GP Music). This online store is accessible both on the web and through an Android app. The company said that they’ve already tied-up with 15 artistes in Bangladesh, and OnMobile’s Ringback Tone (RBT) platform is also integrated with GP Music, which will allow users to select any track on the store as their caller tune. OnMobile has been providing its RBT service to Grameenphone since 2008.

– In July 2014, mobile VAS provider Onmobile signed an agreement with the Bangladesh telecom operator Robi Axiata to deploy various Interactive Voice Response solutions and RingBack Tones (RBT). OnMobile had said that the agreement has been signed for an initial five years and it hopes to expand this partnership with Robi during this time.

– In November 2013, Mobile value added services company Mahindra Comviva inked a three year managed VAS deal with Bharti Airtel’s Bangladesh subsidiary. As part of the deal, Airtel will be outsourcing the management of its service delivery platform in Bangladesh to Mahindra Comviva, which includes Comviva’s deployed products like Messaging Service Delivery Platform (MSDP), Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), Bulk Messaging Gateway (BMG) and dBILL VAS Charging solution.

Image source: Flickr user Kal Hendry

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