Mobile users across Bangladesh hit by high-speed internet blackout

Mobile phone users across Bangladesh are experiencing an outage of high-speed internet services.

Readers of bdnews24.com from different parts of the country said they have not been able to access 3G and 4G data on their devices since early Friday. However, the 2G service is available.

High-speed internet services in six districts have been blocked since Wednesday in the wake of attacks on Durga Puja pavilions and temples in several districts, including Comilla, by religious fanatics. The communal violence erupted in Cumilla after inciteful posts spread on social media alleging that the Quran had been dishonoured at a temple.

Puja venues were also vandalised in Chandpur, Chattogram, Chapainawabganj and Moulvibazar and clashes resulted in casualties.

The shutdown has now been expanded nationwide by the authorities on Bijoya Dashami, according to multiple senior executives of mobile network operators.

They said the 3G and 4G data services were shut down at 5 am on the instructions of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

"BTRC has asked to keep the service shut until further notice," said a telecom official, asking not to be named.

BTRC officials, however, did not want to comment on the matter. Telecoms Minister Mustafa Jabbar also skirted questions on the issue.

The minister said a "technical glitch" may have caused the outage. "I hope this problem will be solved very soon.”

More than half of the 160 million mobile phone users are subscribers of Grameenphone.

In an SMS sent to customers on Friday morning, Grameenphone said they were working with the authorities to restore 4G and 3G services and apologised for the inconvenience.