Bangladesh's BTCL has finally secured approval for a wholesale network modernization project on the condition that it significantly reduce the planned budget.
The state-owned operator has been instructed to slash the cost of the project by around 7 billion taka (USD 84.9 million), the Daily Star reported.
The National Economic Council's Executive Committee has meanwhile formed a committee headed by the nation's telecom secretary to negotiate a price reduction with project supplier ZTE to bring down the cost from the current estimate of 25.7 billion taka.
BTCL first proposed the upgrade project in 2014 as part of a plan to transition into providing high-speed data services for mobile operators as well as high-speed broadband services for consumers.
The upgrade project involves the deployment of three IPMS platforms covering all areas of the country, as well as the replacement of copper cables with 2,367km of optical fiber.
The project also involves the deployment of a stronger backbone network including six core routers and numerous other routers and switches, as well as a central network operations center providing 24-hour telephone connection, network operations and maintenance.
BTCL expects to complete the upgrade project by mid-2020. – Telecom Asia