The government is going to use satellite phones for emergency service providers during crises such as floods and cyclones when telecommunication connections collapse, said Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar.
"Satellite phones will be purchased to keep various service providers connected with telecommunication services during times of crisis," the minister said while speaking as the chief guest at a workshop held at the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) head office on Monday.
Md Khalilur Rahman, secretary at the Posts and Telecommunication Division, chaired the opening session of the day-long workshop titled "National Emergency Telecommunication System (NETS).
Khalilur said the government has already collected the requirement of the satellite phones from different emergency service providers, including the armed forces division, the public administration ministry, and the disaster relief ministry.
Brig Gen Md Nasim Parvez, director general (Systems and Services Division) at the BTRC, during the keynote presentation, said people in cyclone- or flood-affected areas often remain unconnected due to the failure of mobile communication networks.
Last June, when floods hit Sunamganj, Sylhet and Netrokona, around 46% of the total network sites in those areas were down due to no electricity and other damages, he said.
In order to implement the NETS, he made four recommendations that include – increasing the capacity of the commercial cellular networks, setting up special cellular networks, using satellite mobile phones and setting up Wifi networks linked with the Bangabandhu Satellite.
He also suggested using drones in disaster-hit areas in order to understand the real situation.
Among others, BTRC Chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder, Director General of Armed Forces Division Brig Gen Husain Muhammad Masihur Rahman and Additional Secretary of Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief KM Abdul Wadud spoke at the session.