The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved a plan by Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) to roll out a countrywide LTE-based wireless broadband network costing BDT9.56 billion (USD121.3 million), to provide low-cost broadband services in all seven divisions including rural areas by 2017. As cited by the Daily Star, Telecom Secretary Abubakar Siddique, who is also the chairman of BTCL, said the LTE network – aimed at data-only (computer) users – will be developed in areas where other operators are reluctant to roll out services, and added that the company’s proposal for a new spectrum allocation of 35MHz in the 2500MHz band had already been sent to the regulator. 64% of the LTE project funding is to come from the Export-Import Bank of Korea (under a 25-year loan) and the remainder from the Bangladeshi government. A total of 670 base transceiver stations (BTS) and 300km of fibre-optic cable are earmarked for the deployment.
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