Bangladesh has finally got the much-needed back-up for the lone undersea cable by way of terrestrial connectivity, with commercial operation due in September.
An international terrestrial cable (ITC) company, 1Asia Communication (BD) Ltd, was physically connected with Indian terrestrial cable company TATA Communications through Benapole in mid-August.
Bangladesh's telecommunication services until now have been through the international submarine cable network, SEA-ME-WE 4, disruption of which at point in the world goes on to seriously handicap Bangladesh.
Addressing the issue, the government in February provided six ITC licences to provide back-up to the submarine cable network.
A connectivity test is due tomorrow, with commercial service is scheduled to start towards the end of September, said Mirza Mohammad Helal, chief executive officer of 1Asia Communication.
“ITCs will be able to provide voice, data and video services simultaneously.”
Investments worth millions of dollars -- for business process outsourcing (BPO), contact centres and various IT-enabled services -- are currently stuck due to the absence of an international terrestrial connectivity.
The equipment 1Asia Communication is setting up can support 10-gigabits per second, Helal said.
“A back-up of the lone submarine cable is very urgent for the country's call centres,” said Zia Ahmed, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
The ITCs will also create competition for bandwidth prices in Bangladesh, Ahmed added.
The regulator has recently allowed the ITC companies to export bandwidth to neighbouring countries such as India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar, said another BTRC official.
In April, the Indian government asked Bangladesh for 'virtual transit' so that it can connect Tripura with Paschimbanga and Chennai with cables and provide new voice and internet service routes.