Ecnec approves Tk 693cr project to get connected with the 3rd submarine cable
The government on Tuesday approved a Tk 693.2 crore project to set up the country’s third submarine cable to meet the fast-growing demand for connectivity.
With the installation of the new submarine cable, Bangladesh will get 6 terabytes per second of bandwidth that will boost internet speed and help launch 5G services in the country.
The country now uses 1,600 Gbps bandwidth, which was 300 Gbps at the end of 2016.
It also has a bandwidth capacity of 2,600 Gbps from two submarine cables. The third undersea cable will add another 7,200 Gbps, according to the Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), which will implement the project by June 2024.
The cable, SEA-ME-WE-6, starts from Singapore and goes up to France through the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea, said Mamun-Al-Rashid, Planning Commission Member of the Physical Infrastructure Division.
It will have core landing stations in Singapore, India, Djibouti, Egypt and France. The Bangladesh branch will stretch to the cable landing station at Cox’s Bazar through the Bay of Bengal.
The country will have to set up 13,275 km core submarine cable network and 1,850 km branch submarine cable network.
At the beginning of 2018, the government had asked the state-run BSCCL to take steps to get connected with the third undersea link.
Once the project is implemented, it will be possible to meet the growing demand of uninterrupted modern broadband internet services across the country, said Shamsul Alam, member of the General Economics Division (GED) under the Planning Commission.
It would also be possible to export the extra bandwidth to the neighbouring states of India (Seven sisters) and Bhutan. Besides, Saudi Arabia also expressed their eagerness to procure bandwidth from Bangladesh.
The country’s first submarine cable SEA-ME-WE-4 was launched in 2005 and the second one, SEA-ME-WE-5, was launched in 2017. These two submarine cables are being operated through a separate consortium. The lifespan of the first submarine cable is 20 years, which will end in 2025.
As the first submarine cable is 15 years old, the rate of service disruption is higher due to maintenance-related reasons.
The BSCCL's revenue rose to Tk 250 crore in fiscal 2019-20 from Tk 103 crore in fiscal 2016-17 on the back of a boost in bandwidth usage through undersea cables, according to its annual report for 2020.
Also at Tuesdaymeeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec), which was chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, three other projects involving Tk 1,422 crore were approved.