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Bangladesh to share bandwidth with East Asian countries

DHAKA, May 6, 2017 (BSS) - A Singaporean Telecommunication Company is working to connect Bangladesh with Myanmar and few others East Asian countries through undersea cable for bandwidth sharing.

To this end, Chairman and Managing Director of Blueberry Telecom, Cassidy NG would arrive here tomorrow to finalize the terms and conditions as well as sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU), said officials.

Talking to BSS, Monwar Hossain, Managing Director of state-owned Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), today said Blueberry has planned to connect Bangladesh with Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Indonesia laying regional undersea cable.

"Initially, they (Blueberry) would lay 250-kilometer long undersea cable to connect Cox's Bazaar and coastal city of Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, Myanmar," he said.

Mentioning that Bangladesh wouldn't have to invest a single penny, the BSCCL managing director said Bangladesh has been looking for connectivity with Myanmar since long, but "it was so difficult for us due to hilly areas in the boarder."

"The cable will help us to export bandwidth to Myanmar and others East Asian countries like Indonesia, Cambodia," said Monwar, adding, "We can initially export around 100 gigabits per second (gbps) of bandwidth through the link."

He said the undersea cable from Cox's Bazaar to Sittwe would require a cost of $25 million and nearly six months for installation.

Referring to the country's second submarine cable SEA-ME-WE-5 which has a capacity of 1320 gbps bandwidth, Monwar said: "The regional connectivity would be a blessed for us to export the unutilized bandwidth."

Replying to a query, Monwar informed that Blueberry submitted the proposal to the ministry of posts and telecommunications on October last year and the ministry forwarded it to the BSCCL. The BSCCL board approved a draft for a deal with the Blueberry Telecom last week.

BSCCL currently has a capacity of supplying over 300 gbps of bandwidth from the country's first submarine cable, South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE-4); of which the country uses 220 gbps.

Bangladesh is exporting 10 gbps bandwidth to Indian State of Tripura in return for annual payment of US$ 10 million.