Why is VOiP illegal?

Source:  The Financial Express

By:  Engr. Nurul Basher
Ex-Director (Microwave) BT&T

The government has been taking hard actions against some telecom operators who are purportedly using their internet facilitates for making international telephone calls. The operators are being fined millions of takas, their most valuable equipments are being confiscated and some are being banned from continuing such operations.

As a former Bangladesh Telegraph & Telephone Board (BT&T) official, I still do not understand as to why VOIP should be declared illegal in the first place. To put it simply, I understand VOIP is transmitting speech signal through the internet bandwidth. The operator is paying his rent for the internet band width. Also he is paying for the telephone line rent and call charges. Capability to transmit voice over internet band width is made possible through the advancement of signal processing technology. Why should someone be punished for using higher technology?

I recall when in the early 1980’s fax machine was introduced, BT&T used to charge an additional amount of Tk 10,000/- per fax machine. By then I left BT & T and used to have heated argument with my friends in the BT & T top management about the matter. They introduced this charging system only because they found an extra income source without contributing anything.

Today, VOIP is declared illegal as BT & T is being unable to provide cheap service which the IP service providers are contributing. If BT & T is loosing revenue because of VOIP use by the internet operators, then it is BT&T’s fault. It is like punishing a motor bike rider by a bullock cart driver as the latter cannot catch up with the former. It is single stupidity and wrongdoing by someone who is short of in knowledge. I like to ask the authorities concerned to come clean and prove that VOIP is illegal because it is harmful to the people in the way toxic drug import is illegal because it harmful to national health. Following a bad law, even if it is a law, is harmful to the nation in the long run.

I call for a national debate and let the authorities concerned defend themselves to prove what they are doing by declaring VOIP “illegal” is right.

Introduction of WiMAX service in Bangladesh – QUBEE !! Making fun of People’s expectation..

Atlast the WiMAX service is on AIR for the consumers of Bangladesh ( specifically for the people in Gulshan, Dhaka ). It has been more than a year several companies got WiMAX operator license in Bangladesh. People of Bangladesh has been biting nails and waiting for a superspeed connectivity. Well they have it now. But is it like what people expected? Augere Wireless Broadband started providing their service with the name: QUBEE. I have gone through their website and I was seriously disappointed with the packages that were there in their website.

People were expecting for a super fast connectivity with no restriction of internet usage.

Source: QUBEE Website

Do you really think these two packages can penetrate the ISP market in Bangladesh (or perhaps in Dhaka)? Are we not familiar with similar services already? Citycell launched Mobile highspeed Internet service months ago. Let’s look at their package:

Source: Citycell Website

Source: Citycell Website

Are the Qubee packages any special different from the Citycell’s offer? If mobility is the key issue I will say Citycell will be a better choice here due to their wide coverage area.  Otherwise there are many ISPs providing bandwidth to home/corporate users which are much cheap compared to Qubee.

Now let’s do some math. 1 mbps = 1/8 mBps. That is, in 1 minute you’ll be able to download 60/8 = 7.5 Mega Bytes. In 1 hour : 450 Mega Bytes. In this rate Qubee’s offered 9 GB will take 20 Hours to be consumed. If you download 10 DivX Movies (around 700 MB each) you’ll be able to consume the whole data Volume.  6200 taka data plan consumed in 10 Movie Downloads!! 620 taka per movie!! Really damn smart packages. I know people will say these are corporate bandwidth and are not supposed to be used for movie downloading. Well, what is the basic difference then?

Let’s consider my home Internet connection in home user’s category. I pay 1650 taka to Xnet for a 288 kbps connection. I get 30 KB (yes you are right, it’s Kilo Byte). At this rate I can download 2.6 GB per day and believe me my ISP doesn’t apply any cap on usage. Literally I can download 78 GB in exchange for 1650 taka only. Compare it with what Qubee is offering.

Now let’s consider the corporate needs. Corporate offices need seemless minimum guaranteed bandwidth for their operations. Now a days renowned ISPs charge around 14 thousand taka for 512 kbps and around 20 thousand taka for 1 mbps connection. That sounds too much compared to Qubee – isn’t it? Noooo… With the 512kbps/1mbps connections from the ISPs you can download in continuous 512kbps/1mbps for the whole month and the ISP is bound to ensure that. Now you can download for 720 hours with these ISPs at 512kbps/1mbps – compared to Qubee’s 20 Hours.

Why is Qubee charging so much!!! is this because of the WiMAX technology?? If that’s the benefit we were talking about WiMAX then I really doubt if it will be accepted by our Internet users or not. If Internet mobility is the issue, then I can say these types of mobile Highspeed internet was already there for quite a long time (ie, Accesstel’s NLOS technology, Grameen Phone’s 236 kbps Internet and Citycell’s 512 kbps Internet). If a new company launches its services with a new technology – A Buzz is required to penetrate the existing market. People will not accept this rubbish offer just to enjoy a new technology. Because when we buy or pay for anything we actually buy the services of what we are buying. Service is the important issue here. If the new technology doesn’t provide any better service, then either the company hasn’t utilized the technology perfectly or the technology itself is not efficient. But since WiMAX is running in other countries successfully we can say that Qubee’s business plan with WiMAX service is not perfect.

GoodLuck Qubee…

Hasibul Islam



Speedup Firefox

1.Type “about:config” into the address bar and hit return. Scroll down and look for the following entries:

and browser.turbo.enabled

Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.

2. Alter the entries as follows:

Set “network.http.pipelining” to “true”

Set “network.http.proxy.pipelining” to “true”

Set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” to some number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once. (Max can only be 8, but people report 30. The 30 open connections is incorrect)

Set “browser.turbo.enabled” to “true”

3. Lastly right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and set its value to “0”. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it recieves.

4. FOR XP USERS SEEKING FASTER FIREFOX LOADTIMES: Within the Firefox “shortcut” icon properties add /Prefetch:1 (outside the quotation marks) of the ‘target. For example: my target is “D:Program FilesMozilla Firefoxfirefox.exe” /Prefetch:1

Chk dis out it really works

Source: NSUers Online Community

Bangladesh government has lifted youtube ban !! – Youtube is now unbanned in Bangladesh

Bangladesh govt has finally lifted up the ban that was imposed on accessing youtube. I am really confused whether the ban has served the purpose it was imposed for. Rather, it grew curiosity among the people on what really caused the government to do so. Therefore I believe the output was infact negative, and the govt could sense so. But the damage has been done in the meantime. People of a democratic country thus couldn’t tolerate it.

People never like any restriction, specially it was a heavy shock to the newer generation. People now a days are dependent on youtube in many ways. It is not that they watch music videos, drama or use it for entertainment purposes only. Many tech savvy people depend on youtube for various video tutorials or other informative videos.

Youtube inaccessible (Blocked) in Bangladesh !!

6th March 2007, 6 or 7 pm (not sure):

I found and error message when i tried to browse youtube.com . I tried to ping the site, the sites IP was resolved but it couldn’t ping. Then I tried the traceroute in command prompt ( tracert youtube.com). Again the IP was resolved but coudn’t trace a single node. I though it was a problem or a blockage at my ISP’s (xpressbd.net) side. I mailed them and in their reply they told me to check a few steps. I knew there wasn’t anything wrong at my side and mailed again. They again replied with the ping and traceroute result and concluding that it was a sort of blockage at BTCL end. However I called a few friends of mine some could access the site, and they were GP edge users. But others with different ISPs couldn’t.

There are more than 1 International Internet Gateway (IIG) in Bangladesh now a days (eg BTCL, Mango Telecom). I was unable to browse youtube.com from around 6/7 pm on 6th March. I asked a friend of mine who uses GP edge, and he said that He could browse youtube.com during 6/7 pm on 6th March. As far as I know GP uses bandwidth from both BTCL and Mango telecom and probably through V-SAT also. It could happen that the site was blocked/restricted from BTCL bandwidth first and then gradually Mango also followed. That’s because when I asked the same friend today (GP user) he said that he can’t browse today. It is possible to put restriction at every gateway. These are widely practised in China, Myanmar and many other countries where govt control the use of Internet. It is still possible someone can browse the site if they are using bandwidth directly from own V-SAT where it will take time for any authority to impose any kind of restriction.

Therefore I believe it can be some kind of restriction imposed on Bangladeshi Internet users, but I hope that it shouldn’t be a permanant one. It can be because of the current situation caused by the BDR mutiny incident. Youtube hosts numbers of videos/interviews of the BDR mutiny incident.


Recently I encountered a problem with cmd.exe . Yes, I am talking about the command prompt that we get by typing cmd.exe and pressing enter in the “Start”->>”Run”. The error was something like “Windows couldn’t find cmd.exe”. I was annoyed and remembered that the recent virus attack affected a lot of files and cmd.exe could be one of them.

But when i typed “tracert hasibul.info” in “Start”->>”Run” to traceroute my site, I found that the command prompt appeared and it was trace routing. Atfirst I thought that cmd.exe probably was there. But l found that some of the options are not working. For example copying text from command prompt by right clicking and selecting “Mark”, “Copy” or “Paste” etc. Later I found that it was not cmd.exe rather it was command.com .

CMD.EXE is the command prompt for windows XP whereas COMMAND.COM is the command prompt of the DOS which is still there in  Windows XP. Comman.com supports many commands of DOS which CMD.EXE doesn’t support. But still when CMD.EXE was absent in my PC i could do the needful with command.exe .

Smile (Eastern Link BD) a renowned ISP has been shut off for illegal VOIP operations.

Smile.com.bd a popular isp with thousands of clients were forced to shut their operation off  by BTRC as they were found to be engaged with illegal VOIP operation (call termination). I heard that BTRC in cooperation with RAB raided their office on last thursday and siezed VOIP devices.

Few months back another ISP named Maisha Technologies Bangladesh (mtlbd.net) were forced to shut off for same reason.

I usually use Xnet (xpressbd.net) at my home, but in my office smile’s corporate solution were used. 1 of my friend called me on last thursday and told me that he has been DC from internet & he was using smile. I found myself netless when I came to office on saturday. Rakesh, 1 of my friend who works for a renowned ISP informed me that smile was raided and all their operations were shut off completely. Later I found the manager of my office complaining that none of the many smile supports were available. However 1 of the top official of smile called him later and informed that they were doing alternate arrangements. Today, when i came to the office I found the Internet is back and heard that smile provided some new IPs (static fixed IPs for corporate connection).

When I checked it using traceroute I found that they were using a new ISP named ispros (ispros.com.bd). Smile is now using ISPROS’ bandwidth through their backbone or might have handed over the backbone to ISPROS.

I checked the bandwidth by downloading a big file using IDA and found that the speed now ranges between 25 to 30 Kilobytes per second which earlier was 50 to 60 kilobytes through smile. It is understandable that 25-30 KB is not bad enough in this scarcity, but the incident is an example of pure lack of professionalism in providing services since the VOIP devices were seized right from SMILE’s office. Moreover BTRC should not instantly shutoff an ISP like smile which has thousands of clients including many corporate clients. Many of the organizations that depend heavily on Internet for their operations were in complete outage.

On the other hand smile’s unprofessional attitude (Website down as it was hosted in local server using their own bandwidth and all the support being off as well) has proved that how volatile the Internet facility in Bangladesh is. BTRC should not only take these types of actions only but also monitor and ensure that Internet users are not disturbed by any action of BTRC and ISPs. BTRC should take an alternative arrangement and then go for actions.

I also heard from a reliable source that smile is transfering the ownership (and backbone as well) to another ISP (if not ISPROS).

DIGITAL BANGLADESH !!! (not sure what it means)… if we really dream anything like that, BTRC & and all the ISPs should show more proffesionalism in future and ensure flawless connectivity.

Hasibul Islam

Download links of some books on WiMAX

Fundamentals of WiMAX:

WiMAX Technology for Broadband Access:

WiMAX Technologies Performance Analysis & QoS:

WiMAX Applications:

WiMAX Operators Manual building 802.16 Wireless Networks:

WiMAX Operators Manual building 802.16 Wireless Networks:

WiMAX in Bangladesh within 3 months!!

If, what I’ve seen in the TV news is true then, Bangladeshi people will enjoy WiMAX within 3 months. Mr. M. A Mannan of Bangla Lion communications in an interview after the license handover ceremony, said that they will be able to establish WiMAX network across Bangladesh within 3 months. He also added that people of Bangladesh may enjoy high speed internet along with mobile communication spending as low as 300 taka. He also added that, the allocated 35 MHz frequency will allow them to provide huge bandwidth to a greater number of people ensuring Quality Of Service. The more the people use it the cheaper it will be for them.

WiMAX in Bangladesh will allow people to enjoy 65 different types of facilities through it, including high speed internet, mobile communication, video surveillance, video conferencing, distant learning etc. Even remotest part of Bangladesh will be under high speed internet through WiMAX.

Augere Wireless Broadband Limited Bangladesh was the first company get the license and is also working on establishing WiMAX network across Bangladesh. Brac BDMail is the other company that has won the license, but yet to get the license due to their failure to pay the license fee.

I have some diagrams and pictures that I’d like to share with you, which might help you understand the basic functions of WiMAX and how those works.