Smart Telecom to lay optical fibre in Provinces 6, 7

Kathmandu, July 21

Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has awarded a contract to Smart Telecom to lay optical fibre along the  Mid-Hill Highway in Provinces 6 and 7.

Though two companies — WorldLink and Smart Telecom — had applied for the project, NTA awarded the project to the latter as it had proposed to implement the project at around Rs three billion. WorldLink, meanwhile, had proposed to complete the project in Provinces 6 and 7 at Rs 3.34 billion.

Min Prasad Aryal, the spokesperson for NTA, informed that an agreement with Smart Telecom was signed on Tuesday to complete the project in Provinces 6 and 7 within the next two years.

As per the agreement, Smart Telecom will have to lay optical fibre of 96-core along the Mid-Hill Highway in the two provinces, 48-core optical fibre in the routes connecting Mid-Hill Highway with district headquarters in both provinces and 24-core optical fibre along routes connecting district headquarters and rural municipalities of the districts in Provinces 6 and 7.

“Laying optical fibre along the Mid-Hill Highway is a part of NTA’s campaign to develop internet backbone for a bigger and wider information highway in the country. With Smart Telecom taking the responsibility to lay optical fibre in Provinces 6 and 7, the process to lay optical fibre has begun in all the provinces,” said Achyuta Nanda Mishra, assistant director of NTA.

One of the clauses in the agreement with the telecom companies is that NTA can terminate the contract in case these companies fail to implement the project as per schedule.

NTA awarded the contract to United Telecom Ltd (UTL) to lay optical fibre in Provinces 4 and 5 in the third week of April. Similarly, the telecommunication sector regulator had awarded Nepal Telecom (NT) to lay optical fibre along Mid-Hill Highway in Provinces 1, 2 and 3 on September 16 of last year.

Though UTL and Smart Telecom are yet to make any substantial progress in their projects, Nepal Telecom is in the last stage of completing tender processes for the procurement of fibre equipment and laying it along the finalised route.