KATHMANDU: With its Rural Telecommunications Service (RTS) license from Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) , Smart Telecom Pvt Ltd made its commercial launch today. Minister for Information and Communication Shanker Pokharel speaking at a press meet called for developing an infrastructure-sharing environment and said the telecom service provider company should move forward in partnership for the progress of the information and technology sector. “We have limited frequency. Therefore among the telecom service providers there must be mutual understanding about service operations so that it will also help the government support the holistic development of the sector,” said Minister Pokharel adding that the telecom service provider along with the voice service should also focus on broadband internet service as only two per cent of the total population has access to the internet. “Telecom service providers should work as per the agreed points while issuing license for service operations,” he added. Smart Telecom Pvt Ltd chief executive officer Subhas Bajracharya said that among 398 VDCs, VSAT service has started in 100 VDCs along with the operation of fixed line service while in the remaining 298 VDCs wireless service with GSM technology will soon be started.
As per the objective of Telecommunication Policy of 2004, Smart Telecom aims facilitate the access of general public in rural and urban areas to telecommunication services. In the license, STPL is assigned 398 un-served VDCs which lie in the four development regions apart from the Eastern Development Region. As per the license, choice of technology is open in order to provide service in the stipulated areas and even International Long Distance (ILD) service can be launched by payment of appropriate fee to NTA.
Smart Telecom Pvt Ltd is a joint venture having 20 per cent shares of Square Network Pvt Ltd, Nepal, 10 per cent of Gillette Satellite Network Ltd, Israel, and 70 per cent shares of Lalsahu Distribution Pvt Ltd, Singapore. With its main office at Kumaripati, Lalitpur, the company has 20 engineers and 40 employees.
In the above framework, Smart Telecom intends to launch its service by building a mixed network of fixed and wireless technology whichever is appropriate for the location. The service range shall be from voice and data service with wire-line terminals and wireless fixed and mobile terminals for limited mobile wireless terminals. NTA issued the second Rural Telecommunications Service (RTS) license to Smart Telecom Pvt Ltd on July 1, 2008.