The construction of the national data centre will be completed by 2017, said a senior official of Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corporation, which is implementing the $154-million project.
ZTE started building the government-sponsored centre at the 'high tech park' in Kaliakoir, Gazipur, said Jerry Wang, chief marketing officer of ZTE Corporation Bangladesh.
The test run of the data centre, which will preserve all sensitive data of the country, will start in February 2018, Wang told The Daily Star.
On the country's progress towards digitisation, he said most of the people of Bangladesh are becoming tech-savvy now.
“Despite some challenges, Bangladesh has huge potential in ICT. The annual revenue growth of Bangladesh's ICT industry has reached about 40 percent,” Wang said.
Many foreign investors are now interested to do business in the telecom sector of Bangladesh, which proves that the country has become a hub for telecom business, he said. It has been forecast that the average revenue from the telecom sector will be Tk 1,500 crore a year.
Though the current infrastructure in the telecom sector is not much developed, the industry is suitable for foreign investment, he said.
In 2013, the communication market in Bangladesh valued between $3 billion and $4 billion; the mobile sector accounted for 90 percent of the incomes, and the average income of the mobile sector is $2 per user in every month.
In alignment with the 'digital Bangladesh' vision of the government, the national data centre project aims to foster awareness and understanding of Bangladesh's ICT development, and facilitate access to information for Bangladeshi society.
ZTE Corporation is a global leader in telecom and IT solutions with branches in 160 countries. ZTE has more than 15 years of experiences in data centre industry constructing green, innovative and reliable data centres for customers.
In 2014, ZTE got the job to establish the national tier IV data centre for Bangladesh. Tier IV is the highest level regarding reliability, availability and performance. “This will be the number one secured data centre in the whole South Asian region, and the sixth most secured data centre in the world,” Wang said.
The project occupies seven acres of land including a two-storey main building, securely independent entrance building, isolated power supply building and spacious outdoor facility area.
The data centre infrastructure features top security design, explosion proof walls, earthquake resistance structure and energy saving technology.
“It will serve Bangladesh government in its top IT applications and data storage services, and assist local and foreign enterprises with professional ICT services to help boost economic growth,” Wang said.
Bangladesh will undergo massive expansion and modernisation of its telecom network following a major agreement announced between Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd and ZTE Corporation. ZTE was awarded the job to upgrade the telecom network of BTCL.
The network overhaul is aimed at providing a wider, modernised and low-cost range of IP telephony, high speed internet and coverage services such as video calling and video conferencing over BTCL's PSTN access lines. The upgrade will enable the state-run telecom company to compete with mobile alternatives.
Under the programme, three main platforms will be established in Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna from which new telecom services will be made available in all divisions, districts and upazilas, Wang said.
The merger of fixed telephone network and computer communication provides huge potential for developing new services and fueling consumption demand.
The telecom industry is able to raise living standards of people and facilitate greater communication among them, Wang said.