Bangladesh tripled internet bandwidth usage; prices soon to fall

22 Sep 2011

State-owned Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL), the country’s sole provider of undersea high speed capacity, has reported that the usage of international internet bandwidth in Bangladesh has risen from 7.5Gbps in 2008 to 22Gbps currently. BSCCL’s managing director, Monwar Hossain, was quoted by local newspaper The Daily Star as saying that the company will upgrade its maximum capacity to 160Gbps by February 2012 to cope with future demand, especially from 3G UMTS-based mobile services, which are expected to be licensed next year. Recent rollouts of wireless broadband services based on WiMAX (by Qubee and Banglalion) and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev A (by Citycell under the Zoom Ultra brand) have helped push up the levels of internet traffic.

According to the report, the price of wholesale bandwidth in Bangladesh has fallen to BDT10,000 (USD131) per Mbps (following a drop from BDT75,000 to BDT27,000 in 2007), but still remains high by global standards. Recently the government has given permission for six new privately-owned terrestrial fibre cable links to connect to international capacity, which will kick-start bandwidth price competition, and it plans to introduce a second submarine cable connection to the country, also run privately.

BSCCL, which operates a landing station for the SEA-ME-WE-4 consortium submarine cable, said that its planned capacity upgrades will cost BDT500 million (USD6.6 million). In the financial year ended June 2011 the company earned BDT545 million in profit, up from BDT115 million in fiscal 2009. BSCCL was spun off from incumbent telco BTCL in July 2008, but may be integrated once again with the national PTO under state proposals.

Bangladesh, Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL),

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