Bangladesh’s telecoms regulator stepped up a campaign against what it believes to be a dominant position held by operator Grameenphone, imposing fresh restrictions requiring it to seek approval before introducing new voice and data plans, The Daily Star reported.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) must approve any new tariff packages and wants to validate all existing plans by 31 August, the newspaper wrote. The new requirements come more than a year after BTRC classified Grameenphone as a significant market power, The Daily Star explained.

Grameenphone had a 46 per cent market share at end-March with 75.3 million mobile connections, GSMA Intelligence data showed.

In 2019, BTRC set a higher minimum price on calls for Grameenphone customers and raised the interconnection charge above the level set for other operators. But The Daily Star stated the regulator held off enforcing this due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Last month, Grameenphone paid the balance of BDT20 billion ($235.5 million) in alleged unpaid taxes after an appeals court upheld audit claim by BTRC. In February it paid BDT10 billion.

The operator disputes the validity of the audit and claim, and plans to continue to fight the penalty in court.

In November 2019, the country’s Supreme Court ordered Grameenphone to make the first payment in the case.