The state-owned Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited (BTCL) has undertaken plans to connect all upazilas of the country with a fibre optic network by 2023 to enable 5G services.
The largest telecommunication company in the country will lay an additional 1,300km fibre optic cable, adding to the existing 35,000km of cable, said Dr Md Rafiqul Matin, managing director of BTCL.
Fibre optic networks are key for 5G technology, and there is no internet of things (IoT), smart device proliferation, cloud computing or self-driving cars without it.
The government is planning to launch 5G technology in Dhaka by December and the technology will be spread across the country by 2023.
Rafiqul Matin outlined the plans while speaking with members of the Telecom Reporter's Network Bangladesh (TRNB) at a workshop at the BTCL Auditorium.
He said that the whole country will be divided into eight clusters to lay 1,000Gbps, 800Gbps and 600Gbps fibre optic cables.
After that, the districts will be connected with 300Gbps cable and there will be a resilient link to keep the districts' bandwidth connection safe.
"Later, upazilas will be connected with 100Gbps fibre cable connection," he said.
The BTCL will have the necessary infrastructure to provide high-speed bandwidth till 2030 if the proposed project is implemented, Rafiqul said.
Talking about the benefits and function of 5G technology, he said that in the 5G ecosystem, peak data rates will be 10Gbps, which is only 1Gbps in a 4G network.
"In addition, network latency is less than one minute in 5G whereas it is 10 minutes in the 4G system. This 5G has 10% efficient battery consumption whereas 4G has high battery consumption," he added.
Apart from fibre optic transmission network expansion, BTCL also took an Internet Protocol (IP) network up-gradation project to set up the router, switch and related equipment in 472 upazilas and 1,216 unions.
Among others BTCL's Deputy Managing Director (Planning and Development) A K M Habibur Rahman, and TRNB President Rased Mehedi and its General Secretary Samir Kumar Dey spoke at the workshop.