Category Archives: Electronics/Hi-Tech

Japan keen to set up ICT satellite in Bangladesh

Japan keen to set up ICT satellite in Bangladesh
Business Report

With continued expansion of the country’s telecommunication network Bangladesh is looking for its own telecommunication satellite to manage things keeping pace with the growing requirement.

Japan has decided to help the country in meeting out the problem. Ambassador Shiro Sadoshima of Japan on Thursday said his country is very much interested to set up space satellite industry in the country for making orbit-delivery of communications equipment.

“Japanese government, in principal, has taken decision to set up the space satellite industry in Bangladesh,” he said at a meeting with Environment and Forests Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud at his office here on Thursday.

In next March, the envoy said, Japan government will celebrate the 40 years anniversary of diplomatic relations with Bangladesh by holding weeklong programme in which Japanese business leaders will attend the function and choose sectors for investment here.

Dr Hasan Mahmud urged the Japanese government to provide assistance to Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) to face the risks created due to global warming.

The minister also urged him to set up Japanese industry in Rangunia Export Processing Zone and assisting to the Karnafuli tunnel in Chittagong.

Terming Bangladesh as a trusted friend of Japan, the ambassador assured the minister of his country’s cooperation in this regard.


LG, Butterfly eye electronics plant in Bangladesh

LG, Butterfly eye electronics plant in Bangladesh
Star Business Report

South Korean electronics giant LG Electronics and local Butterfly Marketing are likely to set up a factory with a total investment of $500 million to assemble electronics products in Bangladesh, according to an official.

The first phase of the project will start next year with a joint venture entity to assemble refrigerator, Mustafizur Rahman Shazid, director (sales & marketing) of LG products distributor Butterfly Marketing Ltd, told The Daily Star by phone.

A number of electronics products such as television, microwave oven, air-conditioner, washing machine and other home appliances will be made at the factory to cater to the local market, now growing at 10-15 percent a year, according to the official. The factory will be set up at Bhaluka in Mymensingh, said Shazid.

He said the factory will employ around 5,000 people in the county after the completion of the project.

Earlier in the day, a delegation of LG Electronics called on Industries Minister Dilip Barua at his office and shared its intention to invest in Bangladesh, according to a statement issued by the industries ministry yesterday.

LG Electronics Vice President Junhwan Kim was present, among others, at the meeting. The delegation appealed to the government for allocating 100 acres of land in a special economic zone that the government plans to establish in future to promote investment.

LG wants to invest $500m in Bangladesh: ministry

LG wants to invest $500m in Bangladesh: ministry
Staff Correspondent

The industries ministry on Thursday said South Korean LG Electronics had expressed interest to set up an electronics product manufacturing unit at Bhaluka in Mymensingh with an initial investment of $500 million.

A delegation of LG expressed the interest to set up the unit that would manufacture home appliances like refrigerator and LCD television at a meeting with industries minister Dilip Barua at his office in Dhaka, said a press release of the ministry.

The delegation expected that the plant would create jobs for 5,000 people.

Vice president of LG’ home appliance biz strategy department Junhwan Kim, manager Nathan Park, business manager of LG Singapore branch Allan Kim and Dhaka office managing director Jung, among others, were in the delegation, said the press release.

The LG delegation appreciated the investment environment of the country and said investment in Bangladesh is relatively profitable because of its internal market condition and low-cost labour, it said.

The company also expressed interest in setting up a larger electronics manufacturing unit in Bangladesh.

Cellphones must have Bangla keypad

Cellphones must have Bangla keypad

BSS, Dhaka

The telecoms regulator has decided not to allow the import of mobile phone handsets without Bangla keypad from February next year.

“Importers and vendors will not be allowed to import any mobile phone handset without Bangla keypad after January 31,” Zia Ahmed, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regularity Commission (BTRC), told BSS.

He said the commission took the decision to supplement a national campaign to promote Bangla and make ICT equipment-friendly to common people.

Sources said at present, some vendors are selling cell phone handsets with Bangla keypad in limited-scale only for their business interest.

The BTRC chief said the commission nearly finalised a guideline to issue an order that would allow only cent percent

Bangladeshi companies and vendors to import cell phone sets to promote local entrepreneurship.

Welcoming the BTRC’s move, Bangladesh mobile phone importers association secretary Foysal Alim said that the regulator should have taken the decision earlier for the interest of local entrepreneurs.

At the same time, the telephone regulator has taken another decision to install EIR (Equipment Identification Register) server to every cell phone operators for detecting the duplication of handset IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number.

Currently, there are a huge number of handsets in the market with fake IMEI number.

Sources said some foreign handset manufacturing and cell phone companies including Grameenphone and Banglalink have marketed cell phone sets directly under its own brand for long time. But, they could not run the job after the implementation of new BTRC guidelines.

At present, around 50 local importers are importing cell phone handsets from different countries.

Industry insiders alleged that the handset manufacturing and cell phone companies have made huge profit through marketing the substandard handsets in the country.

The regulator, however, has kept a provision that the cell phone companies would import high quality multi-media handset by taking prior conditional permission from the BTRC.

Our own laptop

Our own laptop

Fauzia Sultana

Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS), Bangladesh, where analogue phone sets were manufactured long before the digital dominance, will now be the hub for assembling Doel netbooks and laptops.

Named after the national bird, Doel is the first ever laptop brand to be assembled in Bangladesh, which is believed to revolutionise the high tech industry of the country. With the aim to bridge the communication gap between our people and ICT, by providing laptops at an affordable rate, this initiative provides scopes to build capacity, train local manpower and strengthen the country’s ICT expertise.

Doel netbooks and laptops come in four different models: Primary, Basic, Standard and Advanced. The first three models are netbooks, and the Advanced model is a laptop. While the primary model is designed for simpler applications like e-booking or playing games, the advance model comes with all kinds of modern apps, at an attractively low price.

There are also variations in design and the netbooks and laptops come in four different coloursred wine, silver and the usual black and white. Starting from Taka 10,000 (less than $150)-27,000, the prices of the different models are well within the reach of the average and low income population of the country.

Compared to the laptops and netbooks available in the market within this price range, Doel netbooks and laptops come with a better configuration of components that are imported from Malaysia and China.

Financed by the Government of Bangladesh, these netbooks and laptops are being assembled at the state-owned telecommunications manufacturing unit, TSS. Gonona Technologies Limited, a local IT company has been providing IT solutions and consultancy services, designed the product and is assisting the set up of the manufacturing line at TSS in co-operation with TFT, a Malaysian based company.

A worker assembles a Doel notebook at its production facility at the Telephone Shilpa Sangstha. Photo: Courtesy

On asking Nazmul Chowdhury, managing director and CEO of Gonona, why should someone buy a Doel netbook/laptop, when there is a variety of choices in the market, he shares, “Not only are Doel netbooks and laptops cheap, but they are sophisticated too. Besides, every netbook or laptop comes with a warranty of one year. And since it is assembled here, quality control of the laptops can be monitored closely and efficiently.”

The unique feature of Doel netbooks and laptops is the operating system (OS). The OS is designed in both Bangla and English. “Since computer literacy in the rural areas is low due to incompetency in English, we decided to design the OS in Bangla to help people in the rural areas learn easily. However, it can always be changed to English, when needed,” adds Nazmul.

Be it for educational purposes, business or simply because it’s a fashion statement, everyone wants to own a stylish netbook or laptop. And many a times this longing is conquered by the price tags. But with the launching of Doel netbooks and laptops in Bangladesh, this scenario will soon be history!

PM unveils first Bangladeshi laptop

PM unveils first Bangladeshi laptop

Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER

Dhaka, Oct 11: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled Doel, the first laptop manufactured in Bangladesh, at a ceremony in Dhaka’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC), on Tuesday morning.

Recalling her election pledges, she said the inauguration of the distribution and marketing chain of Doel is a big step towards implementing the “Charter for Change”, to build a digital Bangladesh.

The Prime Minister also asked the education ministry to take effective steps to introduce computer notebooks in schools, to free students from the burden of carrying heavy books. The Prime Minister said that after assuming power, Awami League has broken the monopoly of a private company in the cellphone business, and made mobile phones available to common people, at cheap rates.

She listed every measure taken by the government to implement its electoral commitment in creating a “Digital Bangladesh”. “We’re committed about building a technology-oriented and knowledge-based Bangladesh by 2021,” she said.

“Every part of the country will be brought under e-governance, while telecom systems will be made up-to-date, to cut digital divide,” she added.

She said that steps were taken to manufacture optical fibre in state-owned Bangladesh Cable Industries, in Khulna. This would help the high-speed internet services industry, she added.

The Prime Minister said the government has also taken initiatives to enhance the bandwidth capacity of submarine cable, to 140 gigabyte, from the existing 7.5 gigabyte, and reduce the charge of every megabyte of bandwidth to Tk. 10,000, from the current Tk. 27,000.

She also said that 3G mobile services would be made available in remote areas. It would provide better cellphone services to 17 lakh Teletalk subscribers and 48 lakh 2G subscribers. The Prime Minister mentioned that the postal department is being rehashed and said, “These positive trends should continue in future and everybody should put their best efforts in implementing the programmes.”

Telecommunications minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju presented a set of four models of the Doel laptop and also the electronics appliances produced by Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS) in the last two years, to the Prime Minister.

The state-run TSS, in collaboration with 2M Corporation Ltd, Dhaka, and TFT Technology, of Penang, Malaysia, has produced four models of “Doel”, which have been priced at Tk. 10,000, Tk. 13,500, Tk. 22,000, and Tk. 26000. The laptops have been named after the country’s national bird – Doel (Magpie Robin).

Of these laptops, Primary Model 2102 has been named keeping in mind the Language Martyr’s Day on February 21, while Basic Model 0703 signifies Bangabandhu’s historic March 7 speech, Standard Model 2603 points to the country’s independence day on March 26, and Advanced Model 1612 is a reminder of the National Victory Day on December 16.

Moasir Hossain, general manager of TSS, told The Independent that, so far, the state-run company has produced 3,400 laptops. “Today, the marketing chain of these laptops have been launched. The first lot of these laptops will be distributed among various government organisations”, he added.

He said that it is possible to produce 10,000 laptops, every month, with current capacity.

When asked whether common people would be able to buy these laptops, Hossain said these will be made available in the market, after meeting up government demand.

Sources said the education ministry, alone, has ordered 1.5 lakh laptops, for distribution in different schools. Thus, the chance of having these laptops marketed, within the next two years, is very thin, they added.

Mohammad Ismail, TSS managing director, said that these laptops are products of an initial project, worth Tk 1.84 billion. “Apart from some small microchips, 90 components, including the motherboard, are being manufactured in the TSS factory,” he added.

He said that the primary models, with prices between Tk. 10, 000 and Tk. 13,500, sport a 10-inch LCD screen, VIA processor, and the Android operating system. The advanced models – priced at between Tk. 22,000 and Tk. 26, 000 – have 14-inch WXGA LED backlit screen, Pentium processor, and Linux operating system.

PM unveils locally assembled laptop

PM unveils locally assembled laptop

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launches Doel laptops at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka yesterday. State-run Telephone Shilpa Sangstha assembled the laptops priced at Tk 10,000 to Tk 26,000. Photo: PMO

Star Business Report

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday unveiled a locally assembled low-cost laptop — Doel — in a major step towards spreading the uses of ICT across the country as part of her election promise to make the country a “Digital Bangladesh”.

The much-talked Doel laptop will be available in four different models at Tk 10,000, Tk 13,500, Tk 22,000 and Tk 26,000.

The laptops will hit the market next week.

State-run Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS) assembled the portable computer in collaboration with Dhaka-based 2M Corporation and Malaysian TFT Technology.

TSS, a state enterprise under the telecom ministry, plans to manufacture 10,000 laptops every month.

The prime minister also highlighted various steps her government has taken for the advancement of the country through launching web portals, setting up e-centres at district levels and withdrawing tax on computers.

At the launching ceremony at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city, Hasina said her government is successfully progressing to implementing its “Digital Bangladesh” vision through the expansion of the information and communication technologies.

She asked the education ministry to take effective steps to introduce netbook computers (small laptops) on a massive scale at all schools to free the students from carrying so many textbooks.

The prime minister asked the ministry concerned to install the related e-books in the laptops for the students. At the same time, she called upon the authorities of Dhaka University to take immediate steps to set up an e-library at the country’s top educational institute.

In her speech, Hasina said the new generation will have to be facilitated with the blessings of science and technology.

“Our students at schools should have access to the latest technologies. I want all the students not to go to schools with bags of books on their shoulders, but only with a notebook,” she said.

Hasina said the government has formulated the ICT Policy 2009 and ICT Act 2009 in the last three years to give the ICT sector a boost. Computer E-labs have already been set up at one college and one school in every district, she added.

The government in collaboration with the Chinese government has taken a project to provide 3G (third generation) mobile services in the country, the prime minister said.

Once the 3G service is available, more than 17 lakh subscribers of state-run mobile operator Teletalk would get high-speed communication services, while 48 lakh users would get 2.5G services, Hasina said.

Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, telecom minister, Hasanul Haque Inu, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the telecom ministry, and Sunil Kanti Bose, telecom secretary, also spoke on the occasion.

Established in 1967, the TSS currently manufactures telephone sets only. It, however, has started manufacturing laptops and also plans to make mobile phone handsets.