KATHMANDU: In a bid to rebuild the network in earthquake affected districts, Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has called for proposals from Nepal Telecom (NT) and Ncell stating their plans on what can be done. In response to NTA’s decision to utilise Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF) to reconstruct the damaged infrastructure, Ncell has already submitted its proposal to NTA stating its plans to both rebuild as well as set up new infrastructure for telecommunications. NT is in the final stage of the study about what can be done to repair the damage, alongside expansion of telecommunication networks.
In order to make investment and give service in the areas that do not generate much profit, NTA had formed the fund. Two per cent of the total revenue generated from both these companies goes to create RTDF. Hence, NTA has requested NT and Ncell to share infrastructure that is to be built employing money collected in the fund.
Citing that the proposal put forward by the Ncell focuses on building a resilient network in the 14 affected-districts, including Kathmandu, Milan Mani Sharma, Corporate Communication Expert at Ncell said, “The proposal ensures people in these districts get continuous connectivity in the near and distant future,” According to him, Ncell has proposed building 105 new sites for Base Transceiver Stations (BTS), connecting people through micro-wave and VSAT technologies. Likewise, to guarantee that these areas have long-term resilient infrastructure links, it has proposed to lay high capacity optical fibre in those areas.
“To be specific, Ncell has proposed laying of 1,283 km of optical fibre to ensure connectivity,” he added.
Besides that Ncell has also proposed implementation of Internet Protocol-Radio Access Network (IP-RAN), which boosts capacity of the sites enabling rural broadband. “Building these sites ensure significant increase in geographical coverage of mobile network and ensure 97 per cent of the population of these affected districts have access to resilient network and mobile services,” he opined. He believes that enabling rural broadband at this juncture would be significant as it would contribute to rebuilding works, by ensuring people, communities and rebuilding agencies to access data and adopt appropriate solutions.
Similarly, NT is positive towards NTA’s decision to working together in rebuilding the damaged infrastructure which will help in the upgrade of the entire telephony network and it has diverse plans for it. However, the company has not yet submitted its written proposal to NTA as it is underway. “We are not being able to give optimal service in the affected areas because they have been spotted with severely damaged infrastructure,” said Dilli Adhikari, Deputy Manager/ Joint Spokesperson at NT, adding that if not repaired soon, the damage will make communication process even worse. As for the proposal that NT is due to submit to the NTA, he informed that the company has highlighted in building infrastructure to make service efficient and to provide a full range of technical solutions from 2G and 3G to coming generation networks.
Both Nepal Telecom (NT) and Ncell have an equal market share of 46 per cent each in voice telephony services since the early 2015.