Nepal Telecom asked to phase out obsolete technologies

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 5, 2017-

Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) Chairman Digambar Jha has called on state-run Nepal Telecom (NT) to do away with technologies that are becoming obsolete in a bid to retain its position as the market leader in the telecoms sector. 

“Technologies like ADSL, CDMA and VSAT may have sentimental values for NT,” Jha told a function organised to mark the 13th anniversary of telecom giant. “But those technologies are gradually becoming outdated. So NT should phase them out to mai-ntain its number one position in the telecommunications sector and sustain growth.”

Information and Communications Minister Surendra Kumar Karki echoed Jha. “No one should forget the legacy of Janakpur Cigarette Factory,” the minister said referring to the state-owned enterprise, which was once a top tobacco manufacturer in the country, but failed to retain its position after being unable to compete with a private sector company. The government eventually had to shut down the factory. “This case should be an eye-opener for NT. The possibility of NT meeting similar fate cannot be ruled out if it does not take appropriate measures for sustained growth.”

NT currently has a subscriber base of 16.2 million, the highest among telecom service providers, and is one of the largest tax payers in the country. It is also the first telecom operator to provide 4G service in the country. “NT should now focus on increasing connectivity in public places like hospitals, schools and airports, among others,” Minister Karki said. He also said the company should develop specific programmes to cater to general people and students residing in the country’s remote places. 

Information and Communications Secretary Mahendra Man Gurung, who is also NT chairman, said NT should introduce new technology, while maintaining quality of its services. “It should develop its infrastructure in such a way that upgradation to 5G could be smooth.” 

To enhance its competitiveness, NT has already decided to rope in a strategic partner.

“A consultant, which is laying the groundwork for selection of a strategic partner, will submit its report within a year,” NT Managing Director Kamini Rajbhandari said, adding, “The company is 

also working to start telecommunications service through optical fibre from Rasuwagadhi soon.”

 

Nepal Telecom at a glance

Total Customer Base    16.2 million

GSM, CDMA subscribers     12.9 million

BTS (Base Transceiver Station) for GSM service     5,547 units

BTS for CDMA Network     661 units

BTS for WiMAX     541 units + hotspots in 416 locations

Revenue in FY 2015-16     Rs44.2 billion

Projected revenue in FY 2016-17    Rs47.1 billion 

 

4G service for prepaid service users launched

KATHMANDU: Nepal Telecom (NT) on Saturday launched 4G (fourth generation) service for its prepaid customers in Kathmandu and Pokhara. The service was introduced in a pilot phase. 

The announcement was made during an event organised to commemorate NT’s 13th anniversary. 

NT customers can now subscribe to 4G service by dialing *444#. As a promotional offer, NT is providing 100 MB data free of cost per day to its prepaid subscribers using 4G service. The offer will last for four days from the day of subscription. According to NT, around 50,000 postpaid service users from Kathmandu and Pokhara have switched to 4G network so far, since the service’s launch for postpaid customers on January 1. NT expects number of prepaid 4G service users to grow in a similar manner. 

NT has also stated that it has already signed non-disclosure agreement with Apple and that Apple device users in Nepal may be able to use 4G service by March 2017.

NT, meanwhile, has also re-introduced CRBT (Caller Ring Back Tone) service and introduced call waiting and call forwarding services. 

NT has also said GSM customers can subscribe to 100 MB Facebook pack with five-day validity for Rs 20. Likewise, NT has also donated Rs4 million to the Office of Kathmandu Metropolitan City to renovate Shanti Marga. (PR)

Published: 05-02-2017 09:26

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