Aslam Dhali of Outshahi village in Tongibari upazila of Munshiganj was talking to his granddaughter Arisha in a video call on Friday morning. He lamented at the time, “Ah, now technology has made everything so much easier. When I was abroad, video calls were a thing of the past, I couldn’t even talk on the telephone. It would have been very difficult to send a letter to the country. ”He lived in exile in Saudi Arabia from 1986 to 2008. He said that in the beginning, the only hope was to get the letter from the family members. Later, once or twice a year, I had the opportunity to talk on the telephone at the home of a relative in the district town. Amena Begum from the village next door is also very happy only with the convenience of information technology. He received the money sent by the two French expatriate boys on his mobile phone. Every day he talks to the boys on video call.
This is the story of telecommunication system. Not only this sector. The country has achieved great success in the field of information technology in the last 50 years since independence in 1971. Bangladesh has launched its own satellite into space. The country’s private televisions are broadcasting through their country’s Bangabandhu-1 satellite. ATM booths of several banks are running through domestic satellites. Bangabandhu-1 satellite is now earning money by saving money from the state treasury. Bangladesh’s success in the global software and app market is also enviable. The sector has set a revenue target of about কোটি 500 million this year. Meanwhile, online banking has changed the type of banking system. Mobile banking services have taken the bank door to door. Millions of young entrepreneurs are doing business by creating their own pages on social networking sites including Facebook. The e-commerce sector has also created a big market with the help of high speed internet.
On the other hand, the citizens are enjoying many benefits of digital Bangladesh even in official work. Many services including passport, driving license, birth-death registration, land deed are now available online. The Access to Information (A2I) project of the Prime Minister’s Office is providing technical assistance in these works. Mobile 3G, 4G networks have changed the experience of using the Internet. Broadband internet service has reached remote areas of the village. As a result of high speed internet, the young generation is getting the opportunity to earn at home. Freelancing is eradicating the curse of unemployment. The judiciary has also gone digital with the help of internet. Virtual court system has been introduced. Along with the concept of Digital Bangladesh, it has also had a big impact on people’s lives. The big change has come with the introduction of ride sharing services like Uber-Pathao. In this case, as employment has increased, many have also benefited from travel. Increasing the number of smartphone users has also created new entrepreneurs.
It is learned that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has sown the seeds of digitalization by gaining membership of the International Telecommunication Union and UPU in 1973 and by setting up a ground satellite center at Betbunia on June 14, 1975. Since then, no role has been observed in the development of information technology at the government level. After the Awami League came to power in 1996, the country’s first limited use of the Internet began through offline e-mail. In 1998, VISAT was introduced for the first internet in the country. After that the internet spread.
Concerned people said that after the formation of the last Bangladesh Awami League government in 2009, information technology spread widely. The main manifesto of the Awami League in that election was ‘Digital Bangladesh’ and ‘Vision-2021’. After coming to power, the Awami League started implementing the manifesto. The government is working on a priority basis to increase people’s access and use of the Internet and information technology. As a result, despite many limitations, the number of internet users in Bangladesh has increased to 100 million by 2020. At present the population of Bangladesh is about 160 million and 82% of the total population are internet users. Four-G network service was launched in Bangladesh in 2016. Work is currently underway to launch the Five-G service. Until May 2020, the Internet was mainly supplied to Bangladesh by two submarine cables, CMU-4 and CMU-5. Its bandwidth supply capacity is 300 Gbps and 1600 Gbps respectively. Bangladesh will be connected to the third submarine cable by 2023. Besides, 39 high-tech parks are being set up in the country. Currently, seven high-tech parks are suitable for investment. It is learned that these parks will provide employment to 15,000 people.
Asked about the success of Bangladesh’s information technology sector, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar told Bangladesh Pratidin: From 1975 to 1996, there was no government initiative in the country for the spread of information technology. From 1997 to 2001, tariffs and VAT were withdrawn from computers and online internet was introduced. Four mobile companies were licensed to break the monopoly to make mobile phone services accessible to the general public. The seeds of digitization were transformed into seedlings by adopting various groundbreaking programs including launching internet through VISAT. Following the successful implementation of the Digital Bangladesh program from 2009 to the present, it has become a reality today.
The minister said, “The country has been connected to the second submarine cable since the present government came to power. A third submarine will be added to the cable very soon. After the launch of Four-G network in 2016, the test of Five-G network has also been completed. This year the service
We have plans to launch. Work is also underway to launch another satellite named Bangabandhu-2.
State Minister for ICT Junaid Ahmed Palak told Bangladesh Pratidin that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has contributed to the wonderful success of Bangladesh in information technology today. He showed the people the dream of digital Bangladesh before the 2008 parliamentary elections and now people are enjoying the benefits as the right infrastructure has been built at the right time under the leadership of Sajib Wazed Joy, the architect of Digital Bangladesh, his IT advisor. Especially during the Corona period, our education, administration, judiciary, trade and everything would have become obsolete. But with the advent of digital Bangladesh, the economic wheel is still in motion, and we have been able to sustain growth. Today our data center at the union level. As a result of making Digital Bangladesh, I have been able to do various things including telecentre, telemedicine, delivering money to poor people through mobile, e-commerce, virtual court. Under the right leadership of Sajib Wazed Joy, we have used modern technology to transform the least developed country into a developed country. And because of them, people have benefited directly and indirectly. The work that I could have done in the next 12 years has been done in the last one year. Tk 3,000 crore has been invested in high-tech parks and software parks.
The pace of progress is clear: the amazing advances in technology in the country have been visible over the past decade. In the meantime, Bangladesh’s first satellite in space, including a few major achievements, has taken Bangladesh to a different height. Bangladesh has earned a respectable place in the world of technology. The biggest surprise is the advancement as ‘Digital Bangladesh’. In 2014, Bangladesh was ranked for the first time in the Global Service Location Index (GSLI) by AT Carney, a world-renowned management consulting firm. Bangladesh ranks 32 out of 50 countries in this list. According to the information technology department of the government, as a result of various effective initiatives, Bangladesh has started getting international recognition in information technology for several years. Among them, Bangladesh has received several prestigious awards including ITU Award, South South Award, Gartner and AT Carney.