NT hires German firm to oversee 10m GSM lines project
KATHMANDU, July 19: Nepal Telecom (NT) has signed an agreement with Detecon International to oversee implementation of its mega project of adding 10 million GSM lines in its network.
The German firm will work as international consultant for NT to ensure quality of service and timely implementation of the mega project.
This is the first time that the state-owned operator has hired an international consultant for direct supervision of its project.
Detecon International -- a division of Deutsche Telecom -- is a recognized name for management and consultancy service, particularly in telecom sector.
Rajendra Nakarmi, deputy-managing director of NT, said the state-owned operator will pay the German firm 2.5 million euros as consultancy fee. “The German firm has agreed to provide consultancy service for the project period of four years,” Nakarmi said.
Four different firms had filed tender for the project. Along with Detecon International, Nomura Research Institute of Japan; Sofrecom of France, Ramboll of Denmark and a Chinese firm had participated in the tender, according to NT officials.
NT recently signed an agreement with Chinese vendor Huawei for the implementation of 4.8 million GSM lines at the cost of Rs 6.75 billion. Likewise, negotiations are underway with another Chinese vendor ZTE for the remaining 5.2 GSM lines.
According to NT officials, 50 percent of the GSM lines consist 2G. Remaining 50 percent consists 3G and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) lines.
Nakarmi said after appointment of the consultant both the vendors will have to be more responsible as the consultant will be independent. “Vendors will not be in the position to claim the amount if the consultant finds their work unsatisfactory,” he said, adding that there will be no room for political influence as the operator should also abide by the norms of the consultant.
NT, which has just around 600,000 SIM cards in stock, is hopeful of issuing new lines before it runs out of stock. The project targets to meet the demand for GSM lines until 2015.