2 years ago

Bhutan confirms import of 10Gbps bandwidth from Bangladesh

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Bhutan has confirmed the import of 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second) of internet bandwidth from Bangladesh.

"The discussion has been going on for the last few years. Today, Bhutan has accepted our proposal; a formal process will begin soon," Posts and Telecom-munications Minister Mustafa Jabbar told The Financial Express.

Talks are on to export bandwidth to a number of countries, including Malaysia, said the minister.

Bhutanese media earlier reported that a technical team had carried out a survey on the economic feasibility of importing internet bandwidth.

The team has identified an economically feasible route to import the bandwidth - starting from Bangladesh's Akhaura, the optical fibre cable will enter Bhutan's Samdrup Jongkhar through Guwahati in India.

In this process, Bangladesh's job is to bring the cable up to Akhaura - the rest is Bhutan's responsibility to take the bandwidth to their country, added Mr Jabbar.

About the price, Managing Director (MD) of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd, AKM Habibur Rahman, said his company had offered a "friendly price" to Bhutan.

However, he refused to disclose the price for now.

Currently, Bhutan is importing bandwidth from India. As India is charging too high a price, Bhutan has turned to Bangladesh.

India also has taken 10 Gbps of bandwidth for the Northeastern state of Tripura from Bangladesh through the Akhaura-Agartala point.

India has decided to double the import of the 10 Gbps internet bandwidth from Bangladesh to boost internet connectivity in its north-eastern states.

Earlier, Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company started to export 10 Gbps of bandwidth to Tripura on February 08, 2016, under a four-year contract. Bangladesh used to earn around Tk100 million per year by exporting bandwidth to India.

However, India discontinued the import in February 2020. Later, in November last year, Bangladesh resumed the export of internet bandwidth to Tripura.

At present, Bangladesh has a total capacity to provide 3,345.65 Gbps of bandwidth whereas the domestic demand is 2,496.48 Gbps.

Bangladesh would be able to export bandwidth despite increasing demand at home as Bangladesh is going to launch a third submarine cable with more than 13,000 Gbps capacity.

Of the total capacity, the state-owned Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company's two submarine cables - SEA-ME-WE-4 and SEA-ME-WE-5 - alone have a capacity to provide 2,700 Gbps and the rest of the capacity is being added by private suppliers.

At present, around 1,700 Gbps of bandwidth provided by BSCCL is used in the country - of which, around 95 per cent is eastbound towards Singapore.

But, as a member of SMW-5 consortium, the company possesses a big capacity in the SMW-5 submarine cable in the west direction from Sri Lanka to France/Italy, of which, a very small portion is utilised to date.

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