SEA-ME-WE 5 to improve Bangladesh connectivity; Because of Myanmar, will cost USD 10m less

Posted on September 27, 2014  /  2 Comments

The government of Bangladesh will spend USD 72.5 million on SEA-ME-WE 5, on which construction commenced this month.

“As Myanmar has become a member of the consortium we are paying $10 million less for the branch cable,” Hossain said.

So far 12 countries have confirmed their membership with the consortium, while three other entities may join later, which will reduce the cost of Bangladesh for the core cable, he said.

The final contract of the consortium will be signed next month, he said.

For internet connectivity, the country depends largely on the lone undersea cable SEA-ME-WE-4, which was installed eight years ago. Separately, six more private international terrestrial cables are connected to global cables through Indian links.

The second cable will serve as a backup for the previous undersea cable as well. The single backbone fibre optic network will link Southeast Asia, Middle East, East Africa and Europe.



  1. A consortium is no different than a cooperative initiative. Members incur lesser cost, as more countries join the consortium. In this case, Bangladesh and Myanmar have been equally benefited by virtue of their membership in the SEA-ME-WE5 submarine cable consortium.

    Bangladesh should have invited Nepal and Bhutan to this initiative by offering them terrestrial transit. Denying the final leg of transit to these landlocked neighbors could be a huge embarrassment for India.

    Pakistan and Iran also bear the responsibility of linking Afghanistan and central Asia’s landlocked countries with submarine cable networks. Technology and diplomacy have never blended so intensely in international connectivity.

    Let’s elaborate it in ESCAP’s regional connectivity conference at Thimphu next week.