Bangladeshi newspaper The Financial Express reports that the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has ordered mobile network operators to stop sub-leasing optical fibre, except where the networks of Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN) licensees are absent. In a separate letter recently, the regulator issued a similar order to cellcos GrameenPhone (GP) and Robi Axiata under its ‘amended guidelines for infrastructure sharing.’ The guidelines compel all cellcos, WiMAX network operators and internet service providers (ISPs) to use the common network of NTTN companies; clause 4.8 (b) states that ‘The telecom operators may sell/lease the excess capacity/core/fibre of the transmission network to NTTN operators.’
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that there are two wholesale NTTN operators in Bangladesh, Fiber@Home and Summit Communications, both licensed in 2009, while these two companies may also utilise the network of the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB), which was issued a Nationwide Optical Fibre Telecommunication Transmission Network licence in 2005. Combined, the two NTTN companies, PGCB, five mobile network operators and incumbent Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) reportedly have a total of 16,000km of fibre-optics across the country. GlobalComms notes that around 5,000km of this fibre backbone infrastructure belongs to BTCL.