Alcatel eyes telecom market in Nepal

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 24:

Alcatel, one of the world’s largest telecom companies, is exploring business opportunities in Nepal. The company officials met the prime minister and other senior cabinet ministers in this regard today. In an exclusive interview with The Himalayan Times this evening, Ravi Sharma, managing director and president of South Asia for Alcatel expressed his interest in expanding business in Nepal, on the heels of an on-going project worth over Rs 700 million, which is to be completed within 2005 in three phases.

While meeting with the Prime Minister and communications minister today, Sharma explored his interest in expanding the broadband market to enhance capacity and other telecom services in Nepal, he informed this daily.

Sharma said that Alcatel holds over 65 per cent market share in Nepal’s fixed line projects. 1,50,000 fixed line telephones including DSL/broadband capacity will be completed according the accord reached with Nepal Telecom. He said Alcatel is ready to start telecom-related services. He disclosed that Alcatel is ready to undertake turn-key projects. Alcatel has been in Nepal since 1982. A total of 25,000 fixed-lines have already been commissioned in the first phase. The rest will be completed in the next two phases. Alcatel also holds over 50 per cent market share in India and Bangladesh.

Alcatel has an annual turnover of over Rs 1,300 billion. Alcatel is organised with three business groups for fixed communications group, mobile communications group and the private communications group, says Sharma. He informed that it is a pioneer in digital switching, and world’s largest digital line installed base, representing over 18 per cent of the world’s installed base. It is also a leading supplier of TV and Video over DSL solutions.

Alcatel has started a Rs 1.6 billion rural telephony project in Bhutan, which covers over 75 per cent of people who are in need of telephone lines. The main focus of Alcatel in the coming days in Nepal is to create awareness on broadband, exploring more business opportunities and support Nepal Telecom in terms of expertise, new technology, finance and produce quality manpower.