Bangladesh has planned to export 100 Gbps (Gigabit per second) bandwidth to Myanmar through undersea cable which would boost the government revenue.
Negotiations are on with Myanmar and it will take three months to complete the entire task of laying 300km undersea cable.
Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) Managing Director Monwar Hossain said: “Definitely, Myanmar market has a huge potential for Bangladesh’s unutilised bandwidth.”
Using this undersea cable, Bangladesh can also export bandwidth to Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
According to a BSCCL official, the state-run company is yet to finalise the bandwidth prices, but no doubt Bangladesh would get a better price than what it earns through its bandwidth export to India.
The country earns Tk9.6 crore a year, exporting 10Gbps bandwidth to the Indian state of Tripura, which began in 2016.
A source in the state-run company told the Dhaka Tribune initially, it was planned that bandwidth would be exported to Myanmar, using land boundary, but identifying Rohingya as a major threat, the decision was reversed.
According to the source, the management apprehended possible threat to the cables from the Rohingyas and changed its decision.
Meanwhile, Bhutan has also expressed interest to import bandwidth from Bangladesh. Initially, it would import 5Gbps bandwidth. Now, the country imports 65Gbps from India.
Since Bhutan has already been connected with 4G technology, it needs more bandwidth.
Earlier, a seven-member delegate form Bhutanese government visited Bangladesh in September last year to negotiate the bandwidth import.
Primarily, BSCCL has two options to export bandwidth, using Tamabil-Shillong-Guwahati-Bhutan boundary and Akhaura-Tripura-Shillong-Guwahati-Bhutan routes.
While Bangladesh began bandwidth export to India, it lay a strong foundation with Akhaura-Tripura land border. Considering it, the state-run company prefers to utilise this route as it is fully ready.
Bangladesh also imports 280Gbps from India while on the other hand, it exports 10Gbps bandwidth to India. As per the agreement, India can increase bandwidth import from Bangladesh to 40Gbps.
Bangladesh first got connected with submarine cable in 2006.
According to the agreement with Turkey, the lifespan of the cable will be 20 years while Bangladesh can extend it to five years more which would provide 1,300Gbps bandwidth. Currently, Bangladesh consumes nearly 400Gbps.
Bangladesh has spent Tk660 crore to be connected with second submarine cable SEA-ME-WE 5. It joined this consortium in March 2014.
The country got its first submarine cable connection — SEA-ME-WE-4 in 2006.
Industry insiders said SEA-ME- WE-4 has already passed more than half of its lifespan, and that is why, Bangladesh needs to be connected with another cable before 2025.