Nepal Telecom to expand 4G coverage nationwide

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 20, 2019-

Nepal Telecom is expediting site surveys and procurement processes in a bid to expand its 4G coverage across the country. The state-owned utility plans to run the fourth generation cellular network within a year, officials said.

“Nepal Telecom has a role to play in transforming various sectors including education and health services,” said Dilliram Adhikari, managing director of Nepal Telecom. “To attain this objective, we plan to expand 4G service throughout the country rapidly.”

In February, the state-owned company signed three agreements with international firms to expand 4G service under two network components. “Currently, the firms are carrying out site surveys, and they have finished 65 percent of the work,” the company said.

The state-owned utility launched 4G service in Kathmandu and Pokhara in January 2017. Subsequently, it initiated the process to expand the network across the country. But the Rs19-billion expansion project stalled for 10 months after the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority opened an investigation suspecting irregularities in the bidding process.

The expansion project is expected to connect 6.5 million users under the 4Gs core network system. Hong Kong-based China Communication Service International and one of China’s leading telecom equipment manufacturers ZTE are working on the radio access network and the core network projects respectively.

The core network system acts as a pool to connect the service provider with Nepal Telecom’s system and the radio access network offers an outreach to Nepal Telecom customers.

ZTE has quoted a price of Rs1.56 billion to install the core network. Under the plan, radio access networks will be installed in the central and mid-western regions in the first phase. In the second phase, the core network will be installed in the eastern, western and far western regions, connecting all areas into the 4Gs system. The first and second phases of the network are expected to cost Rs8.75 billion and Rs8.39 billion respectively.

Nepal Telecom revealed that it had added 407 base receiver systems and upgraded 400 more to aid its 10 million users in the first nine months of the current fiscal year. It is also expanding its network to replace the current ADSL system with fibre to the home technology. Currently, the telecom company has built a network capable of handling 40,960 fibre to the home connections across the country.

Published: 20-04-2019 09:01

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