Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Ltd is set to upgrade its countrywide network with a view to competing with the mobile phone operators, who grabbed much of the market share of the state-run landline operator.
Following the overhaul, BTCL will be able to offer low-cost and high-speed internet connectivity through land phones.
For that end, the cabinet committee on economic affairs yesterday awarded a Chinese joint venture — a consortium of ZTE Holding Company Ltd and ZTE Corporation — the job for Tk 2,048 crore.
Of the total cost, the Chinese government will provide Tk 1,852 crore or $231.51 million as loan.
Under the programme, three main platforms will be established in Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna, from which telecom services will be made available in all divisions, districts and upazilas.
Video call, video conference and different types of modern services based on broadband internet can be provided through land phones, according to a report from the telecom division.
At present, customers enjoy these services through mobile phones.
BTCL has been lagging behind private telephone operators and its revenue is shrinking as well, said an official of the telecom division. “It is impossible for BTCL to survive only by providing traditional services through fixed phone.”
Providing high-speed data service for mobile operators is costly, but a fixed phone operator like BTCL can do so at lower costs through the optical fibre network, he said.
“It will also boost BTCL’s revenue earnings.” A powerful IP network will also be built under the programme.