Thursday, 3rd October , 2019, 07:42 pm,BDST

Another project worth 150 crore under Teletalk named “Howar & Island”

|Alimuzzaman Harun|

This time, the state-owned mobile company Teletalk has taken an initiative of a project to speak with affordable price in the Haor-Baor area. This project has been named ‘Hower and Island’. Under this project scheme, 200 BTS will be installed. It has been estimated to cost for this project 150 crore. It has planned to be completed by June next year, 2020.

Open tenders have been called for the work of this project. Last day of tender submission was in 25th September. However, it has been extended to 9th October. All the renowned vendor companies are contacting to participate in the bid. Huawei has been working from the beginning of the Teletalk.

Apart from this, another project called ‘Extension of Teletalk network at village level and modernization of 5G service network’ has been undertaken. The total proposed cost of the project has been estimated to Tk. 3 thousands 282 Crore 83 lakhs. This project will be implemented from October 2019 to June 2022. According to the government’s stated goal, to ensure the availability of 5G based mobile services by the year of 2021-23.

According to the Planning Department’s October 2016 circular issued for the clause 1 that all investment projects with pre-expenditure above Tk. 25 crore are required to verify the feasibility before receiving the project. Although the total cost of the proposed project of Teletalk estimated at Tk. 3,282 crore 83 lakh which no feasibility study has been completed. The scope of the project is very important as it is nationwide and there are other private mobile operators in the telecommunication sector. The private operator’s market share is more than 90 percent.

The industrial power division of the Planning Commission says, Despite being a state-owned company, it did not accept the exemption certificate from the Monitoring Cell of the Finance Department under the terms of clause 1 and 3 for the Circular from the Planning Department. The company has proposed an expenditure project of Tk. 3,225 crore without any exemption certificate. A project was completed on June 27, 2015 at a total cost of Tk. 2,000 crore with the financial support of China Exim Bank. This details quality and efficiency of Teletalk’s services had not been linked to the implementation of the project.

Despite the Government provision, Teletalk’s Tk. 3,250 crore project has been proposed without verifying the feasibility of this project. Firstly, the project will cost about Tk. 11 crore every month for administrative expenses. Secondly, the project will cost Tk. 16 lakh per month for the use of different types of fuel. Thirdly, the price of each motor vehicle has been estimated at more than Tk. 60 lakh 22 thousands. However, the Planning Commission has objected to the various expenses of the project, according to the planning commission sources.

According to sources in the telecommunication ministry, “About 10 crore people in the country are deprived of internet services. But the rate of these deprived is higher in the village level. Rural Internet users have a much lower purchasing power than the city. Other privately owned mobile operators are reluctant to provide mobile broadband services by expanding the network to consider business and profitability in these remote areas. As a result, consumers in rural areas are deprived of state-of-the-art mobile broadband services. This is the reason why digital inequality is being created through the unequal distribution of information and communication between the public.”

Therefore, the government is undertaking this project to deliver the first 4G and later 5G to everyone in the village. The main activity of the proposed project is the purchase of 9,410 sets of telecommunications equipment, to construction of 3,000 BTS sites, to construct of 5 sites for transmission hubs, to buy electrical equipment, to build customer care and to buy furniture. According to sources, the coverage of Teletalk’s voice and Internet networks is limited compared to other operators. Coverage is very low, especially in rural areas. The total number of towers or sites in Teletalk has 4,500. Of these 2G BTS equipment’s has 4500, 3G BTS has 3062, 4G BTS has a total of 1100. The number of towers and telecom equipment is very low compared to other competitors.

The review shows that the project will be implemented within 36 months or three consecutive financial years. A total cost of Tk. 386 crore 8 lakh has been spent from the GoB sector to implement the project within this 36 months. As a result, every month only administrative sector expenses will be Tk.10 crore 73 lakh. The Planning Commission wants to know the rationality for this expenditure. On the other hand, the energy sector, including gasoline, oil usages expenses will be Tk. 5 crore 73 lakh within 36 months. It means that every month the project will have to spend Tk. 15 crore 92 lakh only in the energy sector. The expenditure has been estimated to buy 27 automobile at a cost of Tk. 16 crore 27 lakh. The expenditure on printing and others materials has estimated to Tk. 7 crore 86 lakh. Each month expenses there will be Tk. 21 lakh 83 thousands. For the expenditure allocation of repair and maintenance has been estimated at Tk. 6 crore 47 lakh 21 thousands. But the monthly cost will be Tk. 17 lakh 98 thousands. On the other hand, Tk. 2,305 crore 8 lakh has been proposed for the purchase of telecommunication equipment. It is not clear how the basis for the specification and expenditure estimates of these instruments since there is no approved schedule of rights.

Post and Telecommunications Minister Mostafa Jabbar said, “Technology is ever changing. Therefore, it is impossible to survive in competition unless you can adapt with change in your career. Bangladesh is leading 5G. In our election manifesto, 5G was supposed to be launched between the years of 2021 to 2023. But we are hopeful 5G to be launched in the country before this.” Minister said, “Next year or the following year, the country will enter in the 5G era. Because of that, the technologies that are now we have will change radically in the future in place of that. You will find that our state-owned Teletalk and BTCL are the first to launch 5G.”

Post and Telecommunications Minister Mostafa Jabbar said, “We have closed 22,000 porn sites. We shut down 2,000 gambling sites already. Every day, we are taking action against everyone who spreads rumors of terrorism, terrorism and anarchy. We are in the last stages of implementation of the digital security project. We want to say that, we want to bring every person under the Internet at the same time we want to make the Internet safer also. We are doing this duty.”

Minister also said, “The days ahead of us are not just days of internet and browsing, but of modern technology. We are the first to start using the word digital with the name of the country. In the world Bangladesh first who declared the country digital. One year later Britain and six years later India announced the same way. Eight years later, the world is saying that now is the time of the digital revolution. Therefore, in order to build a digital Bangladesh, it is not only the traditional training or education, but the knowledge acquired must be utilized properly in the professional life. Bangladesh is moving forward, Bangladesh will go further.”

At present, coverage of Teletalk’s voice and Internet networks are limited compared to other operators. Coverage is very low, especially in rural areas. The total number of towers or sites in Teletalk has 4,500. Of these 2G BTS equipment’s has 4500, 3G BTS has 3062, 4G BTS has a total of 1100. The number of towers and telecom equipment is very low compared to other competitors. 

Sources from post and telecommunication department said, “About 10 crore people in the country are deprived of Internet access. The rate is higher in the village. Village users often have lower purchasing power than cities, other privately owned mobile operators do not want to offer mobile broadband services in these remote areas by expanding their network to consider business and profitability. As a result, the people of the village are deprived of Internet access.

Teletalk sources said that the fast-paced internet service will be provided to the people of the countryside by expanding the existing ‘4G’ network union of the Teletalk in the urban areas. In accordance with the government’s stated goal of the phase, an initiative is being taken to ensure the availability of 5G mobile technology based mobile services in every village of Bangladesh by 2021-23.

The government’s post and telecommunication department has working tirelessly to ensure that all people of the country, regardless of city-to-village, benefit from modern technology services.

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