Why BTRC chose Bijoy for Android phones?

A significant number of smartphone users in the country have been confused and troubled by the decision of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to impose the inclusion of Bijoy Bangla keyboard app on imported and manufactured Android smartphones locally.

Government officials have called for calm as the inclusion of Bijoy keyboard app will not prevent the installation of other Bengali keyboard apps by the user. Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association (BMPIA) pointed out that mobile apps are not on the list of mandatory products of the Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution (BSTI).

The main reason users are concerned about the app’s inclusion is that it has data security vulnerabilities which are acknowledged in Bijoy’s privacy policy. Even though there were no privacy issues, users also complained that the Bijoy app has an old-school interface that is inferior to the alternatives available on the Google Play Store.

The two most popular Bangla keyboard apps on the Play Store are Ridmik Keyboard and Ridmik Classic Keyboard, both from Ridmik Labs. The former has been downloaded over 50 million times and the latter over 10 million times.

On the other hand, Bijoy Android Keyboard app from Ananda Computers has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

According to user reviews, Ridmik Keyboard and Classic Ridmik Keyboard are rated 4 out of 5 and 4.2 out of 5 respectively. Meanwhile, Bijoy Android Keyboard has a rating of only 1.1 out of 5 on Play Store.

Users reported that after downloading Bijoy Keyboard, a warning message from Google regarding the app’s ability to store textual information, including user passwords and other personal information, appeared. attach.

“Bijoy Keyboard has data vulnerabilities which are acknowledged in their privacy policy. So if the authorities make its use mandatory, then who will be responsible for protecting users’ personal data? The request came from a technology expert.

Asked about the issue of privacy, Syed Almas Kabir, former president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), said: “Google and Apple have provided high security for user data in order to ‘prevent access by third parties, so we must ensure that users confidentiality of information.

He added that the government was working on the formulation of a national data privacy policy, which is currently at the draft stage.

The former Chairman of BASIS further stated, “The decision to make the Bengali keyboard compulsory was taken to encourage the use of the Bengali language. However, it might have been better not to specify a particular application.

He said it could take up to three months to implement the directive and was unlikely to increase import costs.

Information technology expert Sumon Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune that authorities at Bijoy Keyboard played a role in shutting down open-source platform Unijoy Bangla Keyboard through a court order some time ago. about four years old.

“It’s not about forcing which keyboard will be used everywhere; users will do what they feel comfortable using,” he added.

In 2018, the government announced a BSTI-approved national keyboard as the standard for Bengali typing. The Bijoy keyboard layout was similar to the standard.

Subsequently, the Bijoy layout took the place of the national keyboard.

Syed Almas Kabir noted that Bengali keyboards other than the Bijoy keyboard do not support the national keyboard layout. “This factor was also behind the standardization of the Bijoy keyboard.”

Keyboard maker Bijoy Ananda Computers is owned by Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Mustafa Jabbar. Bijoy Bangla keyboard introduced the keyboard for computers on December 16, 1988.

Telecom Minister Mustafa Jabbar also said that there are many Bengali keyboards but Bijoy was chosen as it is already considered the standard format in the country.

The minister also said that it should be installed at the production and import stage so that users can use it immediately after purchasing the phones. However, users can also install other keyboards according to their convenience and preference.