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Lucubrate Magazine, Issue 34, July 27th, 2018
Conceptualization of Digital Bangladesh has contributed to arise Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, as an IT-enabled services outsourcing (ITES) center and it is continuing its growth in IT sector.
Higher skill IT and new jobs for the young generation
Expansion of technology in Bangladesh is not only promoting Export Basket Diversification but also ensuring Billions in foreign exchange. It also attracted the young generation and proving higher skill IT jobs. IT industry is basically a strong platform for Bangladesh to promote sustainable growth which in terms will ensure Bangladesh to graduate to a middle-income country by 2021. Well Acknowledged IT jobs have paved the path for small IT companies for a start-up business and have been emerged as a well-established source of the influx of foreign exchange through FDI fascinating International IT companies as well.
Half of the population is connected to the Internet
According to BRTC, the total number of Internet Subscribers has reached 80.829 million at the end of January 2018 which is almost half of the population. According to the Global Digital Report Since January 2017, the volume of internet users has jumped by 29%. It also says, 83% of Bangladesh’s population has mobile connections. 2% of the population has a fixed-broadband connection while the percentage of mobile-broadband subscription is 17.8.
The number of registered IT-related and software companies are 1500++ According to the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS). It describes $600 million worth size of ICT market without telecommunications while the number of employed professionals is 250,000. Over 60 countries including North America, around 400 IT companies now export It related goods and services and training equipment.
The authorities make provision for ICT
The Government has already declared IT as a thrust sector and therefore each district and divisional headquarters will have one computer training center. There are thousands of IT training center, around 100 software houses and the number of data entry center is around 35. Import of computer hardware and software is duty-free. VSAT is liberalized and Digital Data Network with a high speed is already there. E-governance, e-commerce, online networking, web surfing, web design and development, product development, ISP and Medical Data Transcription services, Data entry, etc. are experiencing an incredible advancement nowadays.
With a mere of 0.6 lines per 100 people, Bangladesh has one of the lowest teledensity in Asia. The service of telecommunication has improved a lot through Bangladesh Telephone and Telegraph Board (BTTB) and government of Bangladesh is still trying to get additional telephone lines from a Canadian firm.
Photo: Luis Gomes
Digital Economy in Bangladesh
Credit programmes by the government banks are introduced to encourage entrepreneurs in the IT sectors. To ensure Digital Bangladesh through the digital economy, there is an approval of the establishment of 12 hi-tech and IT parks in various districts which will cost Tk 1,796.40 crore. This will be done under a project titled ‘Establishing IT Park/High-Tech Park at District Level (12 Districts)’ where the districts which will be covered are Dhaka, Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Gopalganj, Sylhet, Khulna, Barisal, Rangpur, Natore, Chittagong, Comilla and Cox’s Bazar.
According to the statement of IT division, the project has already been started from 2017 and will last till 2020. According to the statement of Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for ICT:
It will boost our initiative to earn $5 billion from the ICT sector by generating employment for 20 lakh youths.
Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park is also being set up in Jessore and will be launched within a month. at Kaliakoir, Gazipur it is also establishing the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City which will be the first full-fledged IT-enabled economic zone for Bangladesh. In addition to that, All the universities are offering a one-year post-graduate Diploma course in ICT and computer programming for the graduates.
Internet Connectivity to the Remote Parts of the Country
Recently Bangabandhu-1, Bangladesh’s first flagship satellite has been launched from Florida’s Space X launch pad on 12th May, Saturday, at 2:14 am on Saturday, Bangladesh time, (4:14 pm Friday, US time). Designer and maker of Bangabandhu-1 is French company Thales Alenia Space. This national pride will contribute to improving Direct to Home (D2H) services costs Tk 2,765.66 crore. It will also ensure telecommunication services, connectivity in hard to reach areas of the country as well as in emergency situation caused by the disaster and so on. Bangabandhu-1, which will take another two months for commercial use, will have 40 transponders and few of them would be used for broadcasting TV channels. This will also ensure internet connectivity to the remote parts of the country i.e. coastal belts, Char areas, Haors, Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) etc.
Improvement of the weather forecast, distant learning etc. will be added benefit due to this satellite. There is a decision to link Bangladesh to the global highway through the submarine cable. From September 2018, Bangladesh has been connected to the long-awaited second submarine cable SEA-ME-WE 5 for commercial use, constructing another pace in certifying incessant internet connectivity and booming online-based business. This cable has a capacity of up to 1,500 Gigabits per second (Gbps) bandwidth. According to the project director of SEA-ME-WE 5 Parvez M Ashraf, “South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5)’’ is caring 50 Gbps bandwidth to the inland network. Depending on the demand the transmission can be increased up to 200 Gbps. With 20 years of lifespan, if this cable becomes successful to deliver the expected service, Bangladesh will not use imported bandwidth.
Center of Excellence in Cyber Security
In addition to that to ensure cybersecurity, Bangladesh will also establish ‘Center of Excellence in Cyber Security’ with the help of Russia. Bangladesh and Russia have already expressed their agreement to form a Joint Working Group in this regard. Besides this, both the country has decided to sign a MoU to progress the e-governance activity.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for ICT, in his recent visit to Russia has asked for support from Russian Federation to safeguard cyber security in Bangladesh. There must be a national strategy by the government for technology conception, progression and broadcasting all over the industrious sector to sustain this growth. The public-private partnership is also essential to promote entrepreneurs and IT investment. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Bangladesh still ranks 145 out of 175 on the ITU’s ICT Index which clearly indicates room for improvement in coming days.
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(Photo on top: Field Engineer)
Lucubrate Magazine, Issue 34, July 27th, 2018
Categories: Future Work, Magazine, Technology, World