The Kathmandu Post, Post Report, 26th April 2017, Kathmandu
State-owned Nepal Telecom (NT) has said that it will complete connecting 11 hill districts to its optical fibre network within a year. The phone giant began work to extend the 1,000-km fibre network in mid-March.
Currently, 55 of the 75 district headquarters and places lying on the network connection route have been connected to the optical fibre network.
Once the fibre network is completed, telecommunications services will be be improved in 11 districts—Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha, Khotang, Ramechhap, Dolkha, Mustang, Dailekh, Dadeldhura, Doti, Baitadi and Achham.
“We will connect the district headquarters and places lying on the network expansion route to the fibre network to enhance service quality,” said Prativa Vaidya, joint spokesperson for NT.
She added that the project would also connect exchanges and BTS (base transceiver station) and repeater towers lying on the network route.
According to figures published by the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), there are 33.82 million subscribers to voice service in the country. Compared with Nepal’s population of 26.49 million, the subscription percentage stands at 128 percent.
However, infrastructure expansion in remote and hilly regions has not been up to the mark with companies struggling to set up proper networks.
NT spokesperson Vaidya said telecom services were not as poor as portrayed. She added that NT had been working to expand the network to even the remotest parts of the country by using multiple technologies, and that the endeavour would continue.
“Network expansion and upgradation is a process. NT has been providing service even through VSAT technology in remote regions,” Vaidya said. Likewise, NT has begun 3G service in the Rara Lake area in Mugu district. According to the company, the service has been extended with the aim of making it convenient for tourists. Consumers can access NT’s 3G service around Rara Lake and Talcha airport, the company said.
Apart from expanding the network, the country’s largest telecom service provider has brought FTTH (fibre-to-home) and ADSL services under the convergent real time billing (CRBT) system. The system is already being used for GSM, CDMA and WiMAX services.
NT said that its PSTN (landline) service would be brought under the CRBT system in the near future. “We are preparing to migrate the data landline service to the CRBT system,” said Managing Director Kamini Rajbhandari.
CRBT allows telecommunication service providers to integrate their different services into a single account and provide an integrated paying system to users through a common account. It is convenient as communication service providers operating multiple services in multiple modes can integrate their services and maintain a single billing platform.
Free internet access to gov.np websites
KATHMANDU: Subscribers to Nepal Telecom’s GSM service will be able to get free internet access to government websites, the state-run telecommunications service provider announced on Tuesday. “People can access around 550 government websites with ‘gov.np’ domain names for free,” said Managing Director Kamini Rajbhandari. “A list of these websites has been published on our website.”
According to Rajbhandari, the policy is aimed at making it easier for the general public to access government websites. The company said the move was in line with the government’s plan to enhance access to information released by the government.