Optical fibre project starts

Lalitpur, January 9:

East West Optical Fiber SDH Project, a Nepal-India joint project, was jointly launched by information secretary Kumar Prasad Poudel and ambassador of India to Nepal, Shiv Shankar Mukherjee here at Nepal Telecom office, Jawalakhel, today.

S R Kansakar, managing director of Nepal Telecom, welcomed ambassador Mukherjee at the project. After launching the project, Mukherjee visited the Network Management System and equipment installed under the project at the NT office. Despite being a big telecom project, no ministers were invited to inaugurate the project. According to officials of NT, after the completion of the project, the capacity of carrying trunk calls would be tripled and people would benefit with much more effective telephone lines.

East West Optical Fibre Project is part of 7th telecom project to provide an optical fibre backbone to the telecom information superhighway along the East-West Highway from Bhadrapur in the east to Nepalgunj in the West covering 79 stations en-route.

The project serves all major towns like Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Birgunj, Bharatpur, Bhairahawa, Butwal and Nepalgunj. NT said that all links have been commissioned and the warranty period has been successfully completed.

Issuing a press statement, the embassy of India has said that the project, amounting to Rs 1.18 billion has been funded by India. It provides essential telecommunication services and backbone for other secondary services like internet services, manufacturing, distribution and insurance.

The Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) is based on information super highway of 904 km is set up all along the East West Highway in Nepal. This OFC backbone runs right from Bhadrapur in the east upto Nepalgunj in the west covering 79 stations on the route.

All the stations have been commissioned with state-of-art equipment. The smallest capacity of equipment, the synchronous transport module (STM), has a capacity of 1,890 voice-channels while the highest capacity synchronous transport module (STM 16) equipment has a capacity of 30,000 voice-data channels.

The project has been executed by Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL), in cooperation with Nepal Telecom in a record 18 months under extremely challenging conditions. The one year warranty of the project has also been successfully completed on November 23, 2005 by TCIL. 70 per cent of Nepal’s population have been connected through this network.

According to NT officials, a proposal for phase II has already been submitted to the government of India for consideration. Phase II proposes to connect the remaining portion of East West Highway like Lamahi-Kohalpur-Attria-Mahendranagar; Birtamod-Kakar-bhitta; Butwal-Kaligandaki-Po-khara-Damauli-Kathmandu as the main route and includes some important spur routes.