Telecom service providers vie for the biggest slice of the pie

KATHMANDU: Telecommunication service providers, due to increasing competition, are upgrading their services.

Nepal Telecom (NT), Spice Nepal Pvt Ltd (SNPL) and United Telecom Ltd (UTL) — the three major telecom service providers — are constantly upgrading their services to capture the market. They are engaged in bringing latest and most advanced technologies in

the market. One of these is Caller Ring Back Tone (CRBT) service that all

the three service providers have.

Nepal Telecom (NT) started its Caller Ring Back Tone (CRBT) services in Lumbini, Dhaulagiri, and Gandaki zone from Ashad 1 and now it is available in Bheri Zone too. According to NT spokesperson Surendra Bahadur Thike, the company is also planning to extend CRBT service to Birgunj within two months. Previously, NT’s CRBT service was available within Kathmandu Valley only.

SNPL — the provider of Mero Mobile — started Personalised Ring Back Tone (PRBT) in 2006 and it is available in all regions with Mero Mobile services. UTL started its CRBT service this Baishak (April 16), and is providing service in Banepa, Nepalgunj, Bhairahawa, Biratnagar, Narayanghat, Hetauda, Dharan and Birgunj.

With CRBT, customers of NT, Mero Mobile and UTL can download songs, music and video clips.

CRBT is an intermittent audible indication that a dialled telephone number is ringing. A ring back tone is a status indicator that the dialled number is available and that all connections through the appropriate network or networks between the originating and destination devices are either available or will be, and also that the call can be connected if someone answers the call.

The ring back tone generally starts and stops at the same rate as the ringing tone of the called telephone, but generally is out of phase, i.e., staggered in time. Personalized ring back tones recently have become popular, especially in cell phones.

Dozens of music genres and hundreds of selections are commonly available for both the ring back tone and the ringing tone.

The service generally is on a subscription basis and carries an additional charge per tone selected. According to NT, except the charges of SMS and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) the charge per CRBT will be Rs 10 while Mero Mobile charges Rs 10 per song excluding taxes and monthly charge of Rs 30 for its PRBT service, said Mero Mobile senior brand manager Sanat Sharma. Through PRBT service customers can assign different ringtones for different people and for different times, Sharma added.

It is now four months that UTL has started its CRBT service in which the charge per song is Rs 12.43 per CRBT, a monthly charge of Rs 37.29 and song selection charge per minute Rs 3.73.

Wooing the elderly

KATHMANDU : NT has started its new scheme for senior citizens since July 12. Under this scheme, senior citizens aged 60 or above can get an NT pre-paid SIM card for Rs 650 with a free talk time of Rs 500. The normal charge of NT SIM is Rs 1135. According to Thike, the scheme is for senior citizens and physically challenged people. Requirements are citizenship certificate with passport size photo or a government valid document mentioning exact age of the senior citizen wanting to get the NT SIM. The scheme is valid for a limited period and is available in Kathmandu and Biratnagar. — HNS