Kathmandu, February 2:

United Telecom Ltd, the country’s first private player in the telecom sector, which had remained confined to the Kathmandu Valley till now has finally moved out.

UTL launched its services of hand held telephones (HHTs) and fixed wireless telephones FWTs) after days of preparations at Hetauda and the surrounding 20 VDCs yesterday.

“Although both Nepal Telecom and Mero Mobile are already in Hetauda, UTL received an overwhelming response probably because of its low tariffs. On the first day itself, we distributed 500 connections and are likely to touch another 500 today”, gushed UTLs’ CEO, N R Mokhariwale from Hetauda. The CEO has been camping in the city for the past two days to clear all formalities like opening a bank account with the Bank of Kathmandu.

While calls from the UTL HHTs cost one rupee per minute, the FWTs cost one rupee per two minutes. The phones have both ISD and DLD (domestic long distance) services as well.

UTL has established a state of the art Customer Care Centre in Hetauda with an on-line connectivity through optical fiber with UTL’s main customer care system in Kathmandu.

The company which had planned to launch its operations at Hetauda and Birgunj simultaneously has temporarily postponed Birgunj launch taking into account the volatile conditions prevailing in the city. “But we are all ready for Birgunj and will be there as soon as the conditions become conducive,” promised Mokhariwale.

UTL is all set to expand its services to Pokhara, Butwal and Bhairahawa in the next three to four months. “We have already placed purchase orders for the handsets with our suppliers LG-Nortel, Korea”, pointed out Mokhariwale.

Meanwhile in Kathmandu, the company claimed to have reduced the monthly rentals for HHTs to Rs 100 and Rs 200 for FWTs apart from lowering the tariff for calls to India to Rs 15 per minute during non-busy hours. “Our objective is to reduce the tariffs and increase volumes so that both consumer as well as the company stands to gain,” summed Mokhariwale.