Bangladesh is building a link to sell 100 GB/s bandwidth to Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam, and talks are on with India to connect Bhutan to a 2.5 GB/s line.
Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) MD Md Monwar Hossain said a link was bring built with Myanmar through which the three Southeast Asian nations would use 100 GB/s bandwidth from the submarine cable SEA-ME-WE-4 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 4).
Myanmar is nearest from the cable, he said.
“Once connected, these three countries will become the biggest market for Bangladeshi bandwidth,” he said.
Bangladesh gets 300 GB/s bandwidth from the 19,000km long SEA-ME-WE-4 cable that connects a large area along the southern edge of the continent. It lands in Bangladesh at Cox's Bazar.
Only 220 GB/s of this cable's bandwidth is being used here, and the rest of the 440 GB/s national demand is met by six international terrestrial cable companies who import it from India.
Meanwhile Bangladesh exports 10 GB/s bandwidth to Tripura.
The SEA-ME-WE-5 which landed in Kuakata early this year is not yet in use because back link connectivity has not been built yet. Once in operation, the cable will provide an additional 1,300 GB/s bandwidth.
Talks to be held with India
On Sunday, State Minister for Telecom Tarana Halim will visit Kolkata to sit down with the authorities of the state-owned Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), said BSCCL MD Monwar Hossain.
“PGCIL has fibre optic cable links to Bhutan. Bangladesh would like to get the bandwidth to Bhutan through that network,” he said.
Bhutan initially wants 2.5 GB/s bandwidth, which might increase later.
The authorities are considering two points for the cables to be laid, one is Banglabandha in Panchagarh and the other is in Rangpur. The entry point will be finalised at the meeting.
BSCCL sources said India had asked Bangladesh to reduce the price of its bandwidth.
Currently Bangladesh charges India $10,000 per GB/s, and India wants this to be lowered to less than $9,000.
Monwar Hossain said the Indian state telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited wants a revision of the export deal because according to the deal the price should be reviewed annually, but already 18 months have passed.
“Our proposal is that we will increase bandwidth instead of reducing the payment, thereby maintaining our revenue stream. If they agree we will think about the next step,” he said.
But the MD did not say how much additional bandwidth might be given to Tripura.
This report was first published on Bangla Tribune