Charge halved for Bangla SMS

Staff Correspondent

21 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The government has halved the charge for Bangla short message service (SMS) to encourage the use of the Bangla language in technology.

Addressing a webinar on Saturday ahead of the International Mother Language Day, Telecom-munications Minister Mustafa Jabbar said the mobile operators will introduce the new tariff for Bangla text at 0.25 paisa, almost half of the regular SMS tariff, starting from the zero hours of February 21.

Currently, the mobile operators charge 0.50 paisa excluding tax for sending a SMS with a maximum of 160 characters including letters and space. From now,

mobile users will be charged 0.25 paisa per Bangla SMS in Unicode format.

The minister was addressing a virtual meeting titled ‘Bangla in Technology: Demand, Reality and Expectations” as the chief guest. Technology Media Guild Bangladesh (TMGB) organised the webinar.

The process to include Bangla in the official language list of the United Nations will ease after completing the project for enhancing Bangla language in technology.

“A total of 16 components will be developed for increasing domination of Bangla in technology. After completing the project, the process of enlisting as one of the official languages of the United Nations will be flexible for us,” Mustafa Jabbar added.

The minister also noted that lack of initiative to popularise Bangla typing in the school level has created a negative impact on Bangla as a language as youths have become more habituated to phonetic Bangla typing using foreign alphabets.

Considering the slow progress in the Bangla domain, Minister Jabbar further the Dot Bangla domains has progressed a little due to limitation of contents in native language though the government has reduced the registration cost for the service.

Sumon Ahmed Sabir, the first Bangladeshi elected in the executive council of Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), presented a keynote at the webinar while TMGB convener Muhammad Khan moderated the meeting.

Among others, United Nations Technology Bank vice chairman Sonia Bashir Kabir, Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) President Syed Almas Kabir, Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) President Aminul Hakim and General Secretary Emdadul Hoque, Bangladesh Association of Call Centre and Outsourcing (Bacco) President Wahid Sharif, General Secretary Towhid Hossain, and Bangladesh Computer Samity(BCS) President Shahid-Ul-Munir joined the meeting.