The government may sign an agreement with India today to rent 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second) of internet bandwidth to the neighbour.
The price has not been fixed yet, but officials said Bangladesh may earn Tk 1.20 crore per month in rent.
This is an initial demand from India and the amount will increase in future, said Monwar Hossain, managing director of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd that deals with the bandwidth.
The government has already prepared a draft memorandum of understanding and shared it with the Indian side, he said.
Bangladesh will have to lay at least 50 kilometres of optical fibre cables from Brahmanbaria to Akhaura border to facilitate the rent and the task may take six months.
A delegation from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the state-owned telecom company of India, is now in Dhaka. They held talks with officials of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company yesterday.
“We are trying to find the best possible way to export internet bandwidth to India, and are very close to the final task now,” Hossain said.
The Indian team led by DP Singh, chief general manager of BSNL, also met Md Abubakar Siddique, telecom secretary.
The Bangladesh government earlier estimated that it could earn at least Tk 4.83 crore per month by exporting 40 Gbps of internet bandwidth to three northeastern states of India.
The decision to export internet bandwidth was taken in February this year.
Bangladesh’s lone submarine cable, whose lifetime will end in the next 12 years, has a bandwidth capacity of 200 Gbps, while the country consumes only 32 Gbps.
Bangladesh will get another undersea cable by the end of 2015 or early 2016 with a capacity of around 1400 Gbps, while industry insiders say the country’s demand for bandwidth may increase at best 210 Gbps by 2021.
Some other countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Italy and Myanmar have expressed interest to use Bangladesh’s internet bandwidth.
“We will go for both sale and lease as we have received multiple proposals from different countries,” Hossain had earlier told The Daily Star. In case of lease, the agreements will be for one or two years.
Besides the undersea cable, Bangladesh currently has six terrestrial cables that are connected globally via India. These cables provide bandwidth support for both data and voice markets.