The Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited is going to sign a memorandum of understanding with SEA-ME-WE-6 to meet the country's growing demand for data consumption.
The proposal of the agreement has recently been approved at the meeting of the company's board of directors.
Md Abdus Salam Khan, secretary of the Submarine Cable Company, told The Business Standard that the date of signing the agreement has not been fixed yet.
Signing the agreement is the first step in a possible attempt to be connected to the third submarine cable, he said, adding that the project cost and tenure of the project would be finalised later.
Enlisted in the share markets, the Submarine Cable Company is providing exclusive Internet services from submarine cable.
In 2006, SEA-ME-WE-4 was established in 2006 at Cox's Bazar and SEA-ME-WE-5 was established in 2017 at Patuakhali.
At present, almost 1,300 GBps (billions of bits per second) bandwidth is used in Bangladesh, of which SEA-ME-WE-5 and SEA-ME-WE-4 provide 900 GBps. The rest is exported from India.
SEA-ME-WE stands for South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe. The cable is established through those regions. For example, in SEA-ME-WE-5 consortium, the following countries were included from those regions: Bangladesh, Singapore,
Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Djibouti, Egypt, Turkey, Italy, France, Myanmar and Yemen.
These 19 countries are connected to 19 landing points. South East Asia, Middle East and West Africa will also be connected to new SEA-ME-WE-6 consortium.
The company sources said for connecting to SEA-ME-WE-6, the cost will be $72 million. From this connection, initially the bandwidth will be at a speed of five terabytes per second. SEA-ME-WE-6 is expected to be completed by 2023.
Earlier, the Submarine Cable Company received proposals from two Singapore-based companies – SingTel and SigMar – to establish connection for the country's third undersea cable.
For installing the second submarine cable, the cost was almost Tk300 crore. The project was funded by the Islamic Development Bank.
The internet business of the Submarine Cable Company has been improved after the installation of the second submarine cable. In the fiscal year 2018-19, the income from internet sale of the company increased by 39 percent to reach Tk196 crore. The net profit of the company soared to Tk59 crore marking a 700 percent rise.
Abdus Salam Khan said Internet bandwidth can be exported after the installation of the third submarine cable.
In recent meeting of the board of directors, it is recommended that the company provide 16 percent cash dividend to its shareholders for the financial year 2018-19, and fix the record date on November 5.
The Submarine Cable Company will arrange the annual general meeting on November 26.