New submarine cable bids expected by mid-year

16 Jan 2013

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) plans to invite fresh bids from the private sector for the installation of a second international submarine cable by the middle of this year, reports Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star quoting the regulator’s chairman Sunil Kanti Bose. The commission is focusing on the potential for growing the business process outsourcing and call centre sectors, for which a new dedicated submarine cable is needed, Bose revealed, adding that the BTRC will invite bids ‘after assessing the market potential.’ The plan must also be rubber stamped by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MoPT), which has not yet been consulted. A previous attempt to invite private sector operators to build an alternative to the existing SEA-ME-WE 4 undersea cable link was thwarted in 2011 after only one bid was submitted. In May that year a consortium of five local telecoms companies – Mir Holdings, BanglaTrac Communication, HRC Technologies, Advanced Data Networks Systems and Agni Systems – pledged to install the cable for USD70 million, but the regulator apparently rejected the proposal after evaluating it. Last year the country awarded six licences for installation of international terrestrial cables to provide additional connectivity and redundancy.

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