The government has taken a massive initiative of modernising its existing telecommunication network for expanding digital connectivity across the country.
The initiative comes as state-run land phone operator Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) has mainly kept its service running through copper wire.
In modern days, copper wire is not suitable for modern telecommunication services like internet, data and video as it only allows voice calls.
Planning Commission sources said BTCL will implement the ‘Modernising Telecommunication Network for Digital Connectivity’ project at a cost of Tk 2,573 crore, under which an optical fibre network will be set up along with modern transmission system across the country.
The project will be tabled at today’s meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) for final approval, the sources said.
The scheme will establish modern and reliable telecommunication facilities to increase teledensity and expand low-cost ICT facility to the mass people across the country in line with the government ‘Digital Bangladesh’ vision.
In line with its ICT Policy 2009, the government seeks to expand internet connections to rural areas, introduce IP telephone and video conferencing facility in government offices and bring educational institutions under low-cost internet connections.
Most of the project financing — nearly Tk 1,817 crore — will come from Chinese assistance as concessional loan.
The government also took a similar project namely ‘Installation of NGN Telecommunication Network for Digital Bangladesh (NTN)’ project in April 2014 with a hope of getting Chinese fund, but it could not see light as the loan contract could not eventually be signed.
Under the new scheme, three internet protocol multimedia subsystem platforms having a total capacity of 16 lakh telephone connections will be set up alongside upgrading BTCL telephone exchanges’ existing transmission system and 2,367 km copper-based core transmission lines into optical fibre lines.Besides, eight backbone equipment having 1 GBs capacity, IP network and a central monitoring system, among others, will be set up under the scheme to be implemented by June 2020.
BTCL has already signed a commercial contract with the Chinese government selected companies—- M/S ZTE Holding Company LTD and M/S ZTE Corporation Consortium on September 27 last year.