Bangladesh’s cabinet committee on economic affairs has awarded a Chinese joint venture – formed by ZTE Holding Company Ltd and ZTE Corporation – the contract for a BDT20.48 billion (USD256 million) upgrade project on the fixed network of state-backed Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL), reports the Daily Star. Of the total cost, the Chinese government will provide BDT18.52 billion, representing 90% of the total project cost under the contract awarded on 24 August. The network overhaul is aimed at providing a wider, modernised and low-cost range of IP telephony, high speed internet and converged services such as video calling and videoconferencing over BTCL’s PSTN access lines, to compete better against mobile alternatives. The report adds that under the programme, three main platforms will be established in Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna, from which new telecom services will be made available in all divisions, districts and upazilas (sub-districts).
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