New fins are being added regularly to Bangabandhu Hi- Tec City



Serajul Islam Siraj, Special Correspondent, Barta24.com, From Kaliakoir
ছবি: সংগৃহীত

ছবি: সংগৃহীত

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New fins are being added to Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City regualrly. Located in Kaliakair, near Dhaka, there is no way to guess from the main gate of this digital city.

Only the main gate is visible from the Dhaka-Tangail highway, and it looks a bit dirty as it was built a long time ago. But the more you go inside, the more logistics you will see. When the main gate opened and enters, the administrative building will fall on the left hand side first. Row upon row of dialysis machines are being decorated on one floor of this building which had to be imported from abroad at a cost of millions of dollars. Each machine saves about Tk. 4 to Tk. 5 lakh. Entrepreneurs hope that this will greatly reduce the cost of dialysis for kidney patients.

Block 4 is a quarter of a kilometer away from this building. This is another proud institution of the country. Data Center is an essential part of Digital Bangladesh. Named Bangladesh National Data Center, it has become the seventh largest data center in the world. In the meantime, it has been able to earn fame from various organizations. Giants like Google and Amazon have also shown interest in storing their data. Those who used to like Singapore or any other country for geographical reasons have also started the deal. Just as the launch of Bangabandhu Satellite is not just an institution, it is a matter of dignity and security, so the data center cannot be considered just an institution. On the one hand, it is saving Tk. 353 crore a year, on the other hand, it is ensuring the protection of state data.

The activities of 11 companies are going on in the beautiful nine-storey building of Sector 3. Engineers are engaged in the work of a factory, while the construction work of a building is going on with great effort.

In 1999, a meeting of the Bangladesh Board of Investment decided to set up a high-tech park on 231 acres of land in Kaliakoir. Later the area was increased to 355 acres. Although the work started in 1999, with the change of government, the potential high-tech park was plunged into darkness. After a long hiatus, when Sheikh Hasina's government came to power again, the path started with a new initiative.

The park has high speed internet, round-the-clock power supply, shuttle train for communication. Free land or space is available at low prices. It is expected to directly create 1 lakh jobs here. The project is being implemented in PPP (Public Private Partnership) model with the overall cooperation of the government. The products produced in the city have various benefits including 10 years tax break. Producers will get 10 percent incentive for export of manufactured software and hardware products.

In Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City, 70 companies have already been allotted 127 acres 24 decimals land and 2 lakh 96 thousand 498 square feet space. Of these, 12 companies are working. 90 percent of the establishments set up in the park will be digital product producers. The path of building a digital Bangladesh is also expected to create 1 lakh jobs in Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City. Meanwhile, 480 jobs have been created, said Director (Finance and Administration) ANM Shafiqul Islam.

Mobile giants like Nokia have confidence here. Robi has been allotted 1.5 acres of land in the software company category in Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City. The mobile operator will invest 2.6 million dollar there. Three acres of land has been allotted to Fair Electronics. The company will invest 10 million dollar in electronics, hardware and software production. Besides, 20.50 acres of land has been given to 9 allotted companies. The companies will invest 140.81 million dollars.

Orix Bio-Tech Limited will produce plasma. At present Bangladesh has to import plasma worth Tk. 2,000 crore. Initially, the company wants to meet 25 per cent of the country's demand, and production will increase by 25 per cent in the coming years.

A world class dialysis machine is being made in the park. An organization called Sonarbangla Foundation has assembled 80 percent at present but is moving ahead with its own production in the future. The company wants to export abroad by meeting the demand of the country in the future. An American company has proposed to build the factory as a supply hub in the Asian region, said Engineer Al Imran Sarkar, Assistant Director (Operations) of the Sonar Bangla Foundation.

Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City Director (Finance and Administration) ANM Shafiqul Islam told Barta24.com that the high-tech park in particular is being industrialized keeping the environment of the area intact as announced by the Prime Minister. The region is not changing much as it was in the past. There is 20 percent greening, the water bodies are being further improved. Although it was delayed due to corona, activities are now in full swing.

The site of the PPP-operated park has been given the responsibility of developing Summit Techno polis and Fiber at Home. The two companies have already allotted space to several companies, sources said. The project will make a huge contribution to the implementation of Digital Bangladesh announced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This tech city named after the Father of the Nation is being built in the style of Silicon Valley. In addition to easy rail connectivity, Dhaka has multiple alternative roads. There is also improved communication with Chattogram port through Gazipur City. If the Padma Bridge is opened, the river port will establish a road link with Mongla. The government wants to set up 103 such high-tech parks and software technology parks across the country. Through which Bangladesh, a country of emerging economy, wants to touch Vision 2041.

   

AI simplifies lifestyle but threats to civilization: Palak



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
Pic: Barta24.com

Pic: Barta24.com

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Minister of State for Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Mr. Junaid Ahmed Palak said that artificial intelligence (AI) will make life easier for people but it is a big threat to civilization.

He said that the government is going to enact laws to deal with the challenges of technology, especially the adverse effects of AI. Also, new broadband policies will be formulated by 2024 to define internet speed of 20 Mbps as broadband and make the internet affordable and accessible.

The State Minister said these things in the speech as the chief guest at the function organized by the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology under the initiative of the Department of Posts and Telecommunications on the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2024 at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital on Friday (May 17). For the first time in Bangladesh this year, it has been organized with the aim of celebrating the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day with the participants of the public and private sectors of the telecommunication and ICT sector, including the Department of Posts and Telecommunications and the Department of Information Technology.

Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology State Minister highlighted the significance of World Telecommunication and Information Union Day celebration and said that Bangabandhu obtained the membership of ITU in 1973 and included Bangladesh in the world of information and communication technology by establishing Geo satellite Center at Betbuniya despite standing on the ruins of war.

Referring to the World Telecommunication Day on May 17 as a historic day for the national life, the State Minister said, "we would not have had this Bangladesh today if we had not taken the bold and visionary program like the Digital Bangladesh program in 2008 under the plan of the Architect of Digital Bangladesh, Mr. Sajib Wazed." Mr. Palak said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had the foresight to provide Internet connectivity in the country through V-sat, to end the monopoly business of mobile phones by granting licenses to three mobile companies and to bring mobile phones within the reach of common people and to withdraw VAT tax from computers in the financial year 1998-99.

The amazing success of the telecommunication and information technology sector in the past years has made Bangladesh one of the leading countries in the digital world, he said, under the visionary and wise leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the economy of Bangladesh has reached great heights beyond the poverty line. He said, 15 years ago the export income in the IT sector was only 26 million dollars. Currently it stands at 1.9 billion dollars.

Stating that Bangladesh has reached a major milestone in the information technology services (IT) export sector, the State Minister said that 400 establishments in the information technology sector are exporting Bangladesh digital services to 80 countries around the world.

Earlier, the State Minister released commemorative postage stamps on the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day and distributed prizes among the winners of the essay and debate competitions organized to celebrate the day.

Later, an active network memorandum was signed between mobile operator Robi and Banglalink in the presence of the State Minister.

Post and Telecommunication Division Secretary Abu Hena Morshed Zaman presided over the event, Information and Communication Technology Division Secretary Md. Samsul Arefin, Post and Telecommunication Division Additional Secretary A, K, M, Amirul Islam, Chairman and CEO of Bangladesh Satellite Company Dr. Shahjahan Mahmud and Chairman of BTRC Engineer Md. Mohiuddin Ahmed spoke. 

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The second submarine cable is not being fixed even in a month



Istiaq Hussein, Special Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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Bandwidth supply from the second submarine cable (CMUI-5) has completely stopped due to the cut. As a result, the internet problem in the country has not been solved yet. Customers have suffered for a long time due to slow internet.

The problem is not immediately solved because the cable is not repaired. According to the sources of state-owned Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited, the bandwidth supply from the second submarine cable was completely stopped due to the cutting of the SIMUI-5 cable in the sea area of Indonesia last Friday night.

An official of Submarine Cable told Barta24.com on condition of anonymity that permission to enter the Indonesian part of the sea has not yet been received. It can take up to three to four weeks to get permission. After that it may take another 8 to 10 days to repair the cut cable. Altogether, it will not be possible to fully deliver the bandwidth from the second submarine cable even in a month.

But in an alternative way they are trying to normalize internet services across the country. So far they expect to meet 40 percent of the bandwidth demand they have received from the first submarine cable in the next 2 to 3 days.

At present 1600 Gbps bandwidth is provided in the country with SIMUI-5. This supply is completely closed. An alternative to the Internet was not yet possible with SIMUI-4 (the first submarine cable). The submarine cable company is working for this. They say it will take 2 to 3 days. During this period they will be able to operate only 40 percent of the internet demand.

Currently there is a demand of 5,500 bandwidth in the country. Of these, submarine cable companies provide more than 2,500 bandwidths. The remaining demand is met by International Terrestrial Cable (ITC). 

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Guidelines ready, 5G service on cell phones within a year



Ishtiaq Hussein, Special Correspondent, Barta24.com
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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Post and Telecommunication Minister of the previous government, Mustafa Jabbar, had pushed for the introduction of 5G services in the country in December 2023.

For this reason, 5G was launched experimentally through Teletalk in December 2021. 6 places including National Parliament, Secretariat came under this facility.

Earlier, in the auction held in March last year, mobile operators bought 190 MHz waves by spending Tk. 10 thousand crore.

There were objections from the operators about launching 5G service at such a fast time. But finally it was not possible to do it before the election because this service cannot be launched without 5G related guidelines.

Currently 3G and 4G services are available in the country. 3G was launched in 2013 and 4G services were launched in 2018. South Korea launched the first 5G service in 2019.

Finally, the 5G guidelines have been finalized almost two years after the wave auction. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) recently finalized it. According to the guidelines, mobile operators have to roll out 5G within the next one year.

From the second year, operators will have to build all kinds of 5G service capabilities. Such as smart city, smart home, intelligent transportation system, smart grid and other new applications have to be launched.

Regulatory body BTRC has launched Unified License. As a result, different licenses for 2G, 3G and 4G, which operators had to obtain, will no longer be required.

The 5G wave auction was held in March 2022. In this, four mobile operators bought a total of 190 MHz waves for Tk. 10 thousand crores. In the wave auction, it was said that they will have to launch 5G services within the next 6 months. But it took two years to prepare the guidelines after the wave auction.

At that time, the mobile operators said that it was not the right time financially for them to launch 5G at that moment. They expressed their concern on various issues including high cost of infrastructure construction, difficult to get customers, non-return of investment money because they were still worried about investment in 4G services.

Those associated with the sector said that we have to change the ecosystem at the beginning of 5G. Towers will require a lot of electricity. To deliver 5G to remote areas, the transmission network should be accessible and active sharing issues should be emphasized. Where the networks are needed, how much the customers will benefit from the 5G service or how the demand will be, these issues need to be seriously considered and prepared.

Those concerned said that while 4G has a minimum speed of 7 Mbps, 5G has a speed of 20 Mbps. It will be used in the industry, not at the individual level.

Meanwhile, experts in the telecommunication sector said that an investment of Tk. 20 to 25 thousand crores will be required to launch 5G. It is difficult for operators to take investment risks as the business sector is not finalized.

But in the meantime, operators do 5G test runs. Even 5G is not yet commercially viable in many countries. According to a report by GSMA, the global association of mobile operators, 5G subscribers will reach 200 crores by 2025.

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WUST honored and recognized at Virginia General Assembly



Special Correspondent, Barta24.com
WUST team in front of Virginia State General Assembly Hall

WUST team in front of Virginia State General Assembly Hall

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Washington University of Science and Technology in Virginia, United States is passing a new stage of progress with new recognition and honors. This university received special recognition and honor Virginia State Assembly last week.

Earlier, WUST was honored and recognized by the Virginia State Senate in January 2023. That time 40 senators of the state citated Washington University of Science and Technology-WUST for its outstanding contributing to skill-based education. Now one year later the university has received a special honor from the 100-member House of Delegates of Virginia in the General Assembly.

On Monday, February 26, Democrat delegate of District Seven of Fairfax County, Karen Keys Gamarra brought up this university in her speech at the assembly session. She mentioned about the contributions of the university to the expansion of higher education in the United States and to the future of hope under the successful leadership of its Chairman and Chancellor Engineer Abubokor Hanip and President Dr. Hasan Karaburk. Led by Speaker Don Scott, 100 delegates and all the guests present in the gallery greeted WUST with applause.

University Chancellor Engineer Abubokor Hanip and President Dr. Hasan Karaburk led this delegation of 13 members in the assembly hall. Among others were University CFO Farhana Hanip, Abubakar Hanip and Farhana Hanip's eldest daughter cyber security student Nafisa Nowshin, Director of School of Business Professor Dr. Mark Robinson, School of Business and General Education Faculty Professor Salman Elbador, Assistant Director of General Education and Center for Student Success Dr. Hyun Lee, University's Marketing Director Jose Urtega, Student Success and Career Services Manager Rachel Rose, Career Services and IT Manager Amit Gupta, Student Government Association President Selin Yigit and Master of Information Technology students Nayeem Hasan.

The WUST delegation later met with the Attorney General of Virginia, republican Jason S. Miyares at Commonwealth of Virginia's Barbara Johns Building. The State Attorney General was briefed on all activities of the University during this meeting that ended with a photo session.

Later the WUST delegation joined a meet and greet event in the evening organized by four organizations that have been working successfully with the Asian community in Richmond, Virginia for many years. Where the 74th governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin of the Republican party was present as the chief guest. A number of state senators and the house delegates attended.

Governor Glenn Youngkin's speech highlighted the importance of improving Virginia's education system. He mentioned how universities are playing a role in the industry through introducing new programs.

District Seven delegate Karen Keys Gamarra once again highlighted WUST's success in this event.

Engineer Abubokor Hanip and President Dr. Hasan Karaburk were lauded for playing a unique role in education services in the state. Governor Glenn Youngkin congratulated them and wished the university a success. The event ends with dinner.

The WEST team returned to Virginia with renewed enthusiasm following this recognitions.

Founded in 2008, the university has been managed and led by Bangladeshi-American IT and education entrepreneur Abubokor Hanip since October 2020. Ever since he took charge, the university has undergone major changes in the teaching and management system. Through which rapid expansion took place, becoming popular among students. In the span of three years, the number of students of the university increased from 300 to 1700.

Currently, students from 121 countries are studying in this university in bachelor and master courses on information technology, cyber security and business administration. Recently, the university's new campus was developed in a large campus in Alexandria, Virginia.

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