Bharti Airtel’s terrestrial fibre-optic India-Bangladesh cable has gone live, running from Bongaon in West Bengal, India, to the Petrapole-Benapole border, reports Capacity Magazine. The project aims to bolster voice and internet/data connectivity between the two countries ahead of Bangladesh’s planned 3G mobile licence auction this September, while Bharti also aims to enhance transit traffic between Bangladesh and other key business hubs such as Singapore, London, Chennai and Los Angeles, via India. The terrestrial cable provides alternative international capacity for Bangladesh, a country with a single undersea fibre-optic connection (SEA-ME-WE-4), although the government has licensed several other companies to operate terrestrial international links, while a consortium is working on the upcoming SEA-ME-WE-5 submarine cable project, notes TeleGeography. Meanwhile, the Indian group’s Airtel Bangladesh mobile subsidiary aims to bid in the upcoming 3G auction, pending the settlement of various disputes between cellcos and the government over issues including taxes and licensing conditions.
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