Nepal Telecom (NT) has received a directive from the Development and Technology Committee of Parliament to clarify the reasons for the delay in the expansion of 4G service. The Development and Technology Committee of the House of Representatives discussed the service effectiveness of Nepal Telecom on Friday, where the participating parliamentarians raised questions over the service of Nepal Telecom.
The company has been lagging for the expansion of 4G service under various pretexts. As a result, the public has not been able to use new technology for the mobile broadband internet. Similarly, the revenue and profit of Nepal Telecom have also slipped down, and the private service providers were able to enjoy benefits from the 4G expansion service delay of Nepal Telecom.
Though Nepal Telecom 4G has already reached 77 districts, it is yet to reach all the parts of the country. Read Nepal Telecom 4G coverage.
So what were the reasons for the 4G expansion delay? Let’s find out here.
What are the reasons behind the delay in the 4G expansion?
Nepal Telecom was supposed to complete the nationwide 4G expansion by mid-February 2020, but the 4G expansion is still incomplete. Subsequently, Nepal Telecom was questioned over its inability to complete the expansion work in due time.
In response to the criticism, here are some reasons that Nepal Telecom forwarded in defense.
The COVID-19 lockdown is one of the reasons behind the delay of 4G expansion. It hampered the procurement process. Private companies have the freedom to make decisions, purchase equipment, and carry out the execution shortly. But, in the case of Nepal Telecom, a state-owned Telecom company has to undergo public procurement procedures, which takes a longer time.
The Ministry of Forests and the Road Department did not coordinate in time to provide the land, so it resulted in more time to expand the 4G service.
The lack of telecommunication service was also due to a lack of access to electricity. Solar and backup batteries were not enough to provide proper service for a long time. Due to the lack of electricity supply, there have been some issues in the expansion of telecommunication services.
Minister for Communication and Information Technology (MoCIT) Mr. Yubaraj Khatiwada also cited the lockdown, electricity supply, and binding procurement procedure of the public company to hamper the 4G progress.
Nepal Telecom introduced the 4G network in Nepal in 2017. Later, NT collaborated with Chinese company China Communications Services International (CCSI) and Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer, ZTE, to give a shape to this project. The Nepal Telecom 4G contract with both companies was done in February of the year 2019. The 4G network system anticipates connecting 6.5 million users.
Nepal Telecom has plans to complete the rollout of the remaining 4G towers in the current fiscal year. This also should finish as per the Government’s plan for this fiscal year which they have announced in the Budget 2077/78. The company also intends to expand GSM service at 220 local levels. In another project, they aim to distribute 300,000 FTTH (Fiber internet) lines shortly. The FTTH fiber internet of Nepal Telecom is getting so much popular among people but people are to connect other options as it is not available everywhere.
Nepal Telecom could not complete the 4G service expansion project within the allotted time due to various reasons. Among the reasons, the COVID-19 pandemic is one of them and it is affecting every sector. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Nepal Telecom required to provide reasonings within 7 days and an action plan within 30 days to the committee.