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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2681

Bangladesh logs on to information highway

Dhaka, 23 May, (INS + Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, inaugurated the SEA-Me-WE-4 submarine cable at the landing station at Jhilonza in Cox’s Bazar connecting Bangladesh with the global high-speed information super highway.

At the inauguration, Khaleda Zia said it was necessary for Bangladesh to join the submarine cable for speedy development of information and communication technology in Bangladesh.

‘I am delighted as Bangladesh has connected with the global information super highway today (Sunday),’ Khaleda said at the program presided over by the posts and telecommunications minister, Aminul Haque.

Khaleda said the number of international circuits would increase and voice and data transfer would become faster and better in quality, which will ultimately; increase the revenue of the government.

The submarine cable would facilitate e-governance, telemedicine, e-commerce and boost software development in the country, said Khaleda adding that the country will also be able to earn more foreign currency through proper marketing of the unused capacity of the cable.

She said the present government has taken various steps for improvement of the sector considering the importance of the telecommunications and information and communication technology.

‘We have formulated an ICT policy for the speedy development of the sector,’ said Khaleda adding that for the quick implementation of the policy, the country needs huge investment in the sector for the expansion of telecommunications infrastructure.

She said to make telecommunications available to the common people, the government has reduced connection fees and call charges significantly.

She said the present government has increased the capacity of the Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board to 12.20 laklh from 6.85 lakh in 2001 while 227 upzilas were brought under the digital telephone network exchange.

Bangladesh is a member of the 16-party consortium involved in the 20,000km SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable project connecting 14 countries of three continents from Singapore to France. The life of the cable will be 15 years.

The project also includes installation of the 156-kilometre fibre optic cables between the landing station in Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong, Voice over Internet Protocol exchanges and Broadband Access Network.

Through the inauguration of the cable, the Bangladesh telephone board will be able to add the capacity of the submarine cable to the national network.

Industry insiders said the cable will establish an international telecom infrastructure to provide high speed data network facility required for the fledgling data entry/processing and software development industry in the country at a much lower cost.

The telephone board has already conducted a preliminary technical and financial feasibility study of the project to find out how much demand for international traffic there will be in this network and when the government will start getting returns.

The preliminary results of this analysis showed that the voice and data industry of Bangladesh will require between 5Gbps to 10Gbps by 2010, and therefore the proposed system will provide this capacity, and the capacity could be increased with additional investment.

The telephone board officials said the submarine cable would improve overseas voice and data communication and meet the ever-increasing demand for international traffic by using high quality international fiber optic circuits.

- INS + Asian Tribune -

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