Nepal Telecom installing 7 7 new towers to improve service quality

- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu

Jan 27, 2015-

Nepal Telecom (NT) has been busy installing 77 new base transceiver station (BTS) towers across the Kathmandu valley in a bid to improve the quality of its telecommunication and data service. The state-owned telecom service provider hopes to finish the task by February-end.

“We are aiming to improve service quality across the country. The initiative is starting from Kathmandu, and it will gradually spread to other places,” said Buddhi Prasad Acharya, managing director of NT.

He added that the erection of more BTS towers would solve issues of black spots, frequency related problems and blockage of a BTS tower by another which have been affecting service quality. There has been constant progress in the quality, and there will be a visible impact in the GSM service once the new towers start functioning, Acharya said.

NT has also started installing batteries that can be charged easily and equipment which can perform better even during times of power cuts as energy has been one of the major reasons behind problems in providing telecom services. “In some places, BTS towers have remained down due to lack of electricity, but the scenario is changing slowly,” Acharya said.

As for other parts of the country, NT said that it had been prioritizing places which need immediate attention. The company has been replacing old equipment and the work is expected to be completed within one and a half years.

“All the 77 new BTS towers being installed in the Kathmandu valley are located outside the Ring Road,” said Surendra Prasad Thike, deputy managing director, planning division. “Since we have already imported the necessary equipment and the installation task is underway, the new towers should come into operation by February-end,” he added.

NT presently maintains 430 BTS towers in the valley. Apart from these big BTS towers, the company has also installed a number of small devices that function like BTS towers.

Regarding NT’s plan to provide telecom, internet and television services through a single cable, Acharya said that a feasibility study needed to be done first and that they were not in a position to launch the service any time soon.

“We are currently expanding the network using NGN and Fibre to Home technology which can provide all three services. However, we still have old cables in most places which cannot do so,” Acharya said, adding that the company would have to make a thorough study of the operation modality and economic viability.

Referring to the directive of the parliamentary Development Committee to start the service within six months, NT said that it was impossible to do so. “It will take at least six months to import the necessary equipment,” Acharya said. 

 

Quality of Service Regulation ready

KATHMANDU: The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has stated that it has prepared a draft Quality of Service (QOS) Regulation which will specify the minimum service standard and conditions.

NTA Chairman Digambar Jha said that the industry regulator would also import equipment which will enable it determine whether telecom service providers have been providing services as pledged or not. According to him, the technical specifications of the necessary machinery have been prepared. “A tender notice will be published soon,” he added.

The NTA presently does not possess the technical capability to check for possible service tampering. “NT’s internet service availability is impressive. But there are some issues with speed. The speed should be 512 kvps, but I doubt if it is more than 180 kvps,” Jha said.

The NTA has also been preparing a request for proposal (RFP) incorporating previous plans to conduct a survey in several places of the five development regions to check the telephone/mobility being provided by telecom service providers. According to Jha, the regulatory body has also started mobilizing the Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF) to boost access to telecom by increasing infrastructure and other requirements. (PR)

 

Published: 28-01-2015 11:21

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