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Bangladesh seeks Indian financial quote for bandwidth export to Bhutan

By Md Mazharul Anwar Khan
DHAKA, Dec 10, 2016 (BSS) -Bangladesh has sought financial quotation from India to use its network towards exporting bandwidth to the landlocked Himalayan country Bhutan.

Talking to BSS, Monwar Hossain, Managing Director of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) which is assigned to manage country's bandwidth, said both the Bangladesh and Bhutan are needed to use Indian network for sharing internet bandwidth.

"We've written to India seeking financial quotation for using its network to connect Bhutan with us," he added.

Referring to recent visit of Bhutanese delegation regarding bandwidth, Monwar said: "We've talked about four routes to established connectivity, but all routes would be gone through India."

In the letter, he said, India has been requested to inform Bangladesh about their fiber optic cable and connectivity points that could link Bangladesh and Bhutan.

"We need Indian consent along with monthly connecting charge for per megabits," said the BSCCL Managing Director.

Replying to another query, he said Bangladesh has quoted monthly $14 to $18 for per megabit internet bandwidth termination to Bhutan using network of state-owned Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL).

"We would send final proposal to Bhutan after getting financial calculation from India," stated Monwar.

On the other hand, India's state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) would establish connectivity in their soil.

Currently, there is a well-connected route through Akhaura-Tripura through which India is importing 10 Gbps of internet bandwidth from Bangladesh at a price of $100,000 a month.

Bhutan has started the discussion in August and an expert team visited Bangladesh to check out the landing station of BSCCL's lone submarine cable, South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 4 or SEA-ME-WE 4 in the last week of September.

Bhutan wants to initially import 5 to 10 Gbps of bandwidth from Bangladesh. It is importing 65 Gbps of bandwidth from India at a higher price than in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has now over 200 gbps bandwidth and meeting the domestic demand, it has the capacity to export bandwidth up to 50 gbps. Now, Bangladesh is consuming only 33 percent of the total bandwidth and the total demand for bandwidth may reach at 210 gbps by 2021.

Besides, Bangladesh will be connected with second undersea cable early next year to get another 1320 gbps bandwidth.

Since the lifetime of Bangladesh's submarine cable will end within the next 12 years, there is no other alternative to exporting bandwidth.