The decision comes on the occasion of Language Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day
On the occasion of International Mother Language Day, Grameenphone and Telealk have slashed the rate for sending texts in Bangla by half.
From Sunday, a Bangla SMS will cost 25 paisa, without VAT and taxes, while an English-language SMS will cost 50 paisa.
Initially, Grameenphone and Teletalk will give this facility. The other two operators will introduce the rate by March 31, said Shyam Sundar Sikder, chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
The new rate was inaugurated on Saturday by Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar inaugurated the service at the BTRC head office in Dhaka.
The telecom regulatory's systems and services department organised the function.
About 350 million people around the world speak in Bangla, Jabbar said.
“As the language was established with the sacrifice of many, it is our moral responsibility to introduce Bangla everywhere,” he added.
The posts and telecommunications department will take initiative to use Bangla as the primary language of communication in all parts of the country except for sending letters overseas.
There are also plans to make it mandatory for mobile handset importers and local manufacturers to feature Bangla language on every smartphone.
Plans are also underway to introduce Bangla language-based details for every transaction done through mobile financial services from March 26.
Many in rural areas across the country find it difficult to understand English on mobile phones. Now everyone will benefit from low-cost Bangla SMS services, said Md Afzal Hossain, posts and telecommunications secretary.