Norway's Telenor division in Bangladesh fined $24.5 million

Interesting to see the Bangladeshi subsidiary of Norway's Telenor being fined $24.5 million for illegally depriving the government of telecoms revenue.

GrameenPhone, Bangladesh's biggest mobile phone company, ignored laws requiring private telcos and cellcos to use the state-owned BTTB landline network for inbound and outbound international mobile calls.

Instead, the cellco routed its calls across t'Internet using encrypted VOIP technology, which meant that BTTB was unaware of the fact that the large data flowing from GrameenPhone was Internet telephony until some time after the event.

Interestingly, BTRC, the Bangladesh telecoms regulator, says it has busted dozens of illegal VoIP operations over the last nine months.

GrameenPhone, however, appears to have taken the longest to bust, which suggests that the new military government has managed to work out a way of spotting encrypted VOIP header traffic.

GrameenPhone's nett profit last year grew by 55 per cent to $136 million on a turnover of $656 million. No wonder they made a profit...