Nepal Telecom (NT) has been busy installing 77 new base transceiver station (BTS) towers across the Kathmandu valley in a bid to improve the quality of its telecommunication and data service. The state-owned telecom service provider hopes to finish the task by February-end.
“We are aiming to improve service quality across the country. The initiative is starting from Kathmandu, and it will gradually spread to other places,” said Buddhi Prasad Acharya, managing director of NT.
He added that the erection of more BTS towers would solve issues of black spots, frequency related problems and blockage of a BTS tower by another which have been affecting service quality. There has been constant progress in the quality, and there will be a visible impact in the GSM service once the new towers start functioning, Acharya said.
NT has also started installing batteries that can be charged easily and equipment which can perform better even during times of power cuts as energy has been one of the major reasons behind problems in providing telecom services. “In some places, BTS towers have remained down due to lack of electricity, but the scenario is changing slowly,” Acharya said.
As for other parts of the country, NT said that it had been prioritizing places which need immediate attention. The company has been replacing old equipment and the work is expected to be completed within one and a half years.
“All the 77 new BTS towers being installed in the Kathmandu valley are located outside the Ring Road,” said Surendra Prasad Thike, deputy managing director, planning division. “Since we have already imported the necessary equipment and the installation task is underway, the new towers should come into operation by February-end,” he added.
NT presently maintains 430 BTS towers in the valley. Apart from these big BTS towers, the company has also installed a number of small devices that function like BTS towers.
Regarding NT’s plan to provide telecom, internet and television services through a single cable, Acharya said that a feasibility study needed to be done first and that they were not in a position to launch the service any time soon.
“We are currently expanding the network using NGN and Fibre to Home technology which can provide all three services. However, we still have old cables in most places which cannot do so,” Acharya said, adding that the company would have to make a thorough study of the operation modality and economic viability.
Referring to the directive of the parliamentary Development Committee to start the service within six months, NT said that it was impossible to do so. “It will take at least six months to import the necessary equipment,” Acharya said.