NT, Ncell demand fuel to run generators

Kathmandu, October 8

Two largest telecom companies of the country have requested Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to ease fuel supply to operate some of the exchanges and base transceiver stations (BTSs) during loadshedding hours.

State-owned Nepal Telecom (NT) and private sector telecom giant, Ncell, made the request as the crisis of petroleum products is deepening in the country.

“We have asked NOC to ease supply of diesel as some of our exchanges, which are not connected to dedicated feeders of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), need to be powered by generators during loadshedding hours,” NT Spokesperson Pratibha Vaidya told The Himalayan Times, without elaborating how much diesel NT requires per day.

Power flow should be ceaseless at telecom exchanges to avoid disruption in telephone communication.

Ncell, on the other hand, needs diesel to power some of its BTSs during the loadshedding hours.

“Supply of fuel for generators to power up BTSs during power outage will be important to enable communications throughout. We hope for their (concerned authority’s) support in making sure the present situation does not

create difficulties for people to communicate with each other,” Milan Mani Sharma, expert, Corporate Communications, Ncell, told THT.

Ncell has rolled out around 2,500 base transceiver stations throughout the country, including around 400 in Kathmandu Valley.

Most of the BTSs of Ncell have battery backup system, which feeds power in case of disruption in the flow of electricity from the national grid.

But batteries cannot provide support for prolonged period. And once batteries run out of charge, BTSs automatically switch to generators, which operate on diesel. Ncell also did not mention how much diesel it needs per day.

Ncell has, however, said its data centre in Kathmandu and main switching centres in Biratnagar, Hetauda and Pokhara will not be affected by shortage of petroleum products as they are connected to dedicated power feeders of Nepal Electricity Aauthority, which supply electricity 24 hours a day.