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Things have changed a lot in Bangladesh in the last two decades. Bangladesh is now experiencing high-speed ICT development and the changes in the ICT sector are remarkable.

Here we are having a number of digital inclusions like picking a ride within a minute just by tapping our phone. We can buy gadgets, lifestyle products or even order pizza online while sitting on our cozy couch in between watching movies.

Government services are at our fingertips and we can avail them from anywhere, anytime. And even we have some rides based on Internet of Things (IoT) here. Nobody would have imagined that it could have been a possibility even a decade ago. But right now it is becoming the regular lifestyle for Bangladeshis.

With the exponential growth in economy, telecommunication, information technology, and e-commerce, the country is already in a race to become one of the most developing economies very soon.

Just for an example, Bangladesh took 16 long years to switch from 2G to 3G, then only four and a half years to enter into the 4G era in February 2018. And now the government is enthusiastic to take Bangladesh into the next era by the coming year.

But if we consider the context of network readiness and highest smartphone adaptation rate, Bangladesh is yet to reach the forefront. Let us pick Singapore as a random example of one of those leading countries to mention where more than 94 percent of the people are smart device users.

To show how technology can shape lives entirely in a new way, we can think about the daily life of a student there. Students enjoy enormous cloud storage and 44.5 Mbps internet speed on average currently there.

A student there can learn his graduate courses through smart devices along with getting involved into other online learning programmes at convenient time slots.

The coverage of the campus network and the popularisation of smart terminals enable knowledge to be transmitted anytime and anywhere. These are very helpful for every student. We need to establish that kind of connectivity here in Bangladesh.

We know that this is the era of internet. Every day the world is advancing from one technological milestone to another while keeping pace with the global tech transformation.

The fourth industrial revolution is coming which will be all about intelligent technology or artificial intelligence (AI). This future world will be an intelligent world featured by all things sensing, all things connected and all things intelligent.

In today’s world, all countries are investing to embrace that smart change that will help in many ways. Some data says return from ICT investment is more than six times higher than non-ICT investments.

Smart technology is taking place and we are getting good results. For example, we can consider transformation of Yanbu, a port city of western Saudi Arabia, into a city of smart industry.

That transformation has increased business investment in that area by 16 percent and decreased road investment cost by 20 percent and municipal lighting cost by 30 percent.

We can also realise the benefits of introducing Safe City model in Kenya where we can see that Kenya’s crime rate has been reduced by 46 percent.

IoT will bring facilities to all levels starting from individuals to industry.

Digital facilities will be changing our life entirely and it will be on its leap. Smart bands will be our friends to monitor health conditions and will be connected with the community with so many solutions.

Smart motorcycles or cycles are being connected with law enforcing agencies, families and other industry houses with real time monitoring so that we can avoid any accidents and operate with better efficiency. This kind of activity will also help full community to take part in that value chain.

Even further, we can think about smart petrol pump where riders do not need to spend time to refuel anymore.

We can also think of smart shop which will support us to manage a better home and of smart home for an easy, cost-efficient, balanced and better life.

But to have a better life we need to have better digital connectivity. ICT infrastructure will be the foundation of the intelligent world. In the upcoming years, Bangladesh needs to be very focused in this area.

And success in that will help this country achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) focused on health, education, gender equality, industry, innovation, climate change and so on.

Good news is we are heading towards 5G. It will be 10 times faster than 4G. In a 5G network, people can get 100 mbps anytime, anywhere.

In 5G, we will have Ultra-reliable Low Latency Communication (uRLLC). With this kind of coverage, we have a huge potential in the field of IoT. We need to work for better broadband services and internet application here as well.

But it is all about ecosystem. In Bangladesh, government functions, non-profit organisations, academic institutions, ICT enterprises and private entities have their roles to play in making and implementing policies and standards, developing technology solutions, providing services, and connecting effects and services.

Equipment and solutions providers, operators, IT companies, vendors, the government and all the stakeholders should work together to continue with the thriving pace of digitalisation.

We also need to look into smartphone penetration. With a supportive ecosystem with shared innovation, open collaboration and better ICT infrastructure, technologies will produce the highest benefits.

More importantly, companies equipped with advanced technologies need to play a vital role in this new journey. Because these companies can establish the infrastructure and provide the solution from smart banking, telecom services, e-governance etc.

The coming few years will bring a deciding opportunity for Bangladesh to achieve better digital connectivity. Bangladesh is now on the highway of global ICT development and cannot afford to lag behind. The whole ICT industry should be streamlined to build Digital Bangladesh. Let’s not only live in Bangladesh, let’s work together to build a better Digital Bangladesh.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Zhang Zhengjun

Quelle/Source: The Daily Star, 05.05.2019

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