India will for the first time turn to Bangladesh to meet its global telecom connectivity needs. It plans to lease nearly 100 gigabytes of international bandwidth from two state-owned suppliers in the neighbouring country to route a chunk of India's overseas call and data traffic through a new gateway in Agartala, said a top official in state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).
The move is aimed at reducing BSNL's dependence on Tata CommunicationsBSE 3.58 % Ltd's Chennai landing station for routing international voice and data traffic emanating from India's eastern, northeastern and southern states. BSNL has been mandated by the telecom department to ink multi-year international internet bandwidth leasing pacts with Bangladesh Telecommunications Co Ltd (BTCL) and Bangladesh Submarine Cable Co Ltd (BSCCL) to establish optical fibre cable (OFC) connectivity between India and Bangladesh, says a telecom department note seen by ET.
BTCL and BSCCL didn't respond to ET's emailed queries.
Such bilateral OFC links will connect the Agartala international gateway with Dhaka and the Cox's Bazaar cable landing station in Bangladesh for accessing the global bandwidth.
The bilateral telecom partnership was discussed by top telecom policy makers from India and Bangladesh at an internal meeting in Dhaka on July 30. Foreign ministry representatives of both countries also participated in the meeting. "Though commercials are yet to be formalised, BSNL may have to shell out roughly $10 million ( 61 crore) annually to Bangladesh for leasing international internet bandwidth over a 10-to-20 year span," said a top company official who was present in the meeting.
Bangladesh also proposes to leverage its proposed OFC links with India to address the international connectivity needs of landlocked Saarc countries like Nepal and Bhutan, but the Indian government is yet to take a firm view on this, said another official present in the meeting.
Bangladesh is a co-owner of the South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) submarine cable system that runs from Singapore to France and connects Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, UAE, Tunisia and Algeria. It is the primary Internet backbone between South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Europe.
Courtesy: Economic Times