Dhaka, Jan 16 (UNB) - Mobile phone operators will not be allowed to offer internet packages with less than seven-day validity from January 27, said the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on Wednesday.
The telecom regulator will send letters to mobile phone operators soon in this regard, BTRC’s acting Chairman Jahurul Haque told a views-exchange meeting with ‘Telecom Reporters Network Bangladesh’ members at its office.
“Ensuring quality mobile network and data service is our big challenge this year,” he said.
BTRC received 2,947 complaints about mobile phone services last year and disposed of 2,838 of them, the acting BTRC boss said.
BTRC Commissioner Rezaul Kader said mobile phone operators would be ranked based on their service qualities. “Customers can choose operators after checking the ranking,” he said.
“We want to start 5G services in 2020. We’re working on it,” said BTRC Commissioner (Spectrum) Aminul Haque.
Tehran, Jan 16 (AP/UNB) — An Iranian satellite-carrying rocket blasted off into space Tuesday, but scientists failed to put the device into orbit in a launch criticized by the United States as helping the Islamic Republic further develop its ballistic missile program.
After the launch, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated his allegation that Iran's space program could help it develop a missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon to the mainland U.S., criticism that comes amid the Trump administration's maximalist approach against Tehran after withdrawing from the nuclear deal.
Iran, which long has said it does not seek nuclear weapons, maintains its satellite launches and rocket tests do not have a military component. Tehran also says they don't violate a United Nations resolution that only "called upon" it not to conduct such tests.
The rocket carrying the Payam satellite failed to reach the "necessary speed" in the third stage of its launch, Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said.
Jahromi said the rocket had successfully passed its first and second stages before developing problems in the third. That suggests something went wrong after the rocket pushed the satellite out of the Earth's atmosphere. He did not elaborate on what caused the failure, but promised that Iranian scientists would continue their work.
Iran had said that it plans to send two nonmilitary satellites, Payam and Doosti, into orbit. The Payam, which means "message" in Farsi, was an imagery satellite that Iranian officials said would help with farming and other activities.
It's unclear how the failure of the Payam will affect the launch timing for the Doosti, which means "friendship." Jahromi wrote on Twitter that "Doosti is waiting for orbit," without elaborating.
Tuesday's launch took place at Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran's Semnan province, a facility under the control of the country's Defense Ministry, Jahromi said. Satellite images published last week and first reported by CNN showed activity at the launch site. Given the facility's launching corridor, the satellite likely fell in the Indian Ocean.
Iranian state television aired footage of its reporter narrating the launch of the Simorgh rocket, shouting over its roar that it sent "a message of the pride, self-confidence and willpower of Iranian youth to the world!"
The TV footage shows the rocket becoming just a pinpoint of light in the darkened sky and not the moment of its failure.
The Simorgh, meaning "phoenix" in Farsi, has been used in previous satellite launches. It is larger than an earlier model known as the Safir, or "ambassador," that Iran previously used to launch satellites.
Ahmad Motamedi, the chancellor of Tehran Amirkabir University of Technology, which designed the satellite, told the semi-official Mehr news agency that Jahromi already has ordered them to design another satellite.
"Now, we have earned plenty of experience and we will be able to make a new satellite quicker," he said.
Over the past decade, Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit and in 2013 launched a monkey into space.
Iran usually displays space achievements in February during the anniversary of its 1979 Islamic Revolution. This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the revolution amid Iran facing increasing pressure from the U.S. under the administration of President Donald Trump.
Pompeo has said that Iran's plans for sending satellites into orbit demonstrate the country's defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution that calls on Iran to undertake no activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
Pompeo alleged in a statement Tuesday that the vehicle that Iran tried to put into orbit uses technology that is "virtually identical and interchangeable with those used in ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles." He said the U.S. is working with its partners "to counter the entire range of the Islamic Republic's threats, including its missile program, which threatens Europe and the Middle East."
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promptly slammed Iran over the launch, accusing Tehran of lying and alleging that the "innocent satellite" was actually "the first stage of an intercontinental missile" Iran is developing in violation of international agreements.
Iran denies wanting nuclear weapons. A 2015 nuclear deal it struck with world powers limited its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
However, Trump pulled America out of the deal in May. While United Nations inspectors say Iran has honored the deal up to this point, the country has threatened to resume higher enrichment.
On Tuesday, Iranian state television aired footage of nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi apparently from a previous interview warning Tehran could raise the its enrichment of uranium "instantly."
"In a matter of four days we (are able) to start," he said.
Chongqing, Jan 15 (Xinhua/UNB) - One of the cotton seeds carried to the moon by China's Chang'e-4 probe is the first ever to sprout on the moon, according to scientists of a mini biosphere experiment on Tuesday.
After making the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon, China's Chang'e-4 mission pioneered the first mini biosphere experiment on the moon.
Professor Xie Gengxin, of Chongqing University and chief designer of the experiment, said a canister installed on the lander of the Chang'e-4 probe contained the seeds of cotton, rapeseed, potato, and arabidopsis, as well as eggs of the fruit fly and some yeast, to form a simple mini biosphere.
Images sent by the probe showed that a cotton sprout had started to grow, though no other plants were found growing.
The cylinder canister, made from special aluminum alloy materials, is 198 mm tall, with a diameter of 173 mm and a weight of 2.6 kg. It also holds water, soil, air, two small cameras, and a heat control system, said Xie.
More than 170 pictures have been taken by the cameras and sent back to Earth, according to the team.
Why were these species chosen?
Xie said potatoes could be a major source of food for future space travelers. The growth period of Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard, is short and easy to observe. Yeast could play a role in regulating carbon dioxide and oxygen in the mini biosphere, and the fruit fly would be the consumer of the photosynthesis process.
Researchers used biological technology to render the seeds and eggs dormant during the two months when the probe went through the final checks in the launch center and journey of more than 20 days through space.
After Chang'e-4 landed on the far side of the moon on Jan. 3, the ground control center instructed the probe to water the plants to start the growing process. A tube directs natural light on the surface of the moon into the canister to allow the plants to grow.
Moscow, Jan 15 (Xinhua/UNB) -- NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has accepted an invitation to make a working visit to Russia in the next several months, Russian space agency Roscosmos said Tuesday on its website.
According to a statement by Roscosmos, Bridenstine and Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin on Monday held a telephone conversation that focused on "further cooperation on space exploration and a possible meeting."
They agreed to continue working together on the International Space Station and lunar projects, as well as other missions to explore deep space, added the statement.
NASA earlier sent an official letter to Roscosmos and revoked an invitation for Rogozin to visit its headquarters, a decision Bridenstine said was made due to pressure from U.S. senators.
Rogozin on Jan. 10 said in response that NASA has fallen victim to the struggle between President Donald Trump's administration and U.S. Congress.
However, according to Rogozin, NASA defends its cooperation with Russia because it "understands perfectly well that the creation of a lunar orbital platform is the most complicated problem," which cannot be solved by it alone.
Dhaka, Jan 14 (UNB) – The government on Monday withdrew all value added taxes and supplementary duties imposed against every SIM card replacement through the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service.
The Internal Resources Division of the Finance Ministry published a gazette notification exempting the MNP services from all taxes on several conditions.
The MNP is a service through which customers can switch from one mobile operator to another mobile while keeping their number unchanged.
On October 17, 2018, the government reduced the taxes for MNP service to Tk 57.50 from Tk 157.50 after only 17 days of imposition of such taxes.
As per the conditions mentioned in the new gazette, now all mobile phone operators will have to send their previous month’s information over the total stock of SIM cards, the number of subscribers who were ported in and ported out through MNP services as well as information over changing SIM cards for other reasons and collection of taxes and duties against it, to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission in the first week of every month.
Also the mobile operators will have to send names and number of subscribers who were ported in and ported out availing the MNP services in line with the conditions.
In an instant reaction, the leading mobile network operator, Robi Axiata Limited, said the decision for removal of SIM replacement taxes through MNP service is very positive step. “We hope that it will enhance interests of clients to avail this service thus the government’s revenue will go up further.”
Besides, the decision will intensify the competition among the mobile phone operators to render the MNP services and the client will get better services, Robi said.