KATHMANDU, July 31: Nepal Telecom (NT) is investing Rs 15.11 billion in fiscal year 2012/13 to launch new projects, expand its services and enhance service quality.
Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, Amar Nath Singh, managing director of NT, said the state-controlled operator will be making partial payment for 10 million GSM lines, launching IP CDMA and investing in power backup during the year.
“Our expenditure for power backup is increasing. We plan to spend around Rs 3 billion in the current fiscal year for power backup alone,” Singh said.
NT has announced budget of Rs 62.36 billion for fiscal year 2012/13. It plans to launch WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access), Convergent Real Time Billing, and expansion of fixed line with Multi-Service Acess Node (MSAN) by the end of the current fiscal year.
With the objective of providing better Internet connectivity, NT is planning to launch wireless broadband in 1,800 VDCs. The service is being provided under its WiMAX project.
"WiMAX service will come into operation by the end of this fiscal year," NT Spokesperson Surendra Thike said. He said around 50,000 WiMAX lines will be distributed in Kathmandu, Butwal and other city areas by the end of this fiscal year.
Similarly, MSAN helps customer make use data and make voice and video calls through a single line. With the help of convergent billing, customers can pay the bill of all the services of NT through a single bill.
NT is targeting to distribute a total of 1.55 million lines by the end of the current fiscal year. The target, however, is not so big compared to last fiscal year where it had distributed 1.31 million telephone lines.
“This is because we don´t have sufficient GSM lines. The implementation of 10 million GSM lines project has just begun. We will distribute more lines next year as we will have sufficient lines to meet the market demand,” Singh said.
The operator plans to distribute 788,000 GSM lines, 729,170 CDMA lines and 34,469 fixed lines in 2012/13.
NT at present has a total of 7.71 million subscribers, including 1.21 million subscribers that it added in 2011/12. It added 879,530 data users during the year, a growth of more than 140 percent compared to last fiscal year. At present, NT has 2.13 million data users.
“We are launching EVDO (Evolution Data-Optimized) enabled CDMA service in the near future. It will address the growing demand from consumers for data service,” said Thike.
NT has also expressed commitment to prioritize quality of service through Key Performance Indicator. “We have been carrying necessary works to improve our service quality. Our customers will experience the improvements very soon,” said Singh.
The financial statement of NT shows it mobilized Rs 29.84 billion in revenue in the last fiscal year and earned net profit of Rs 12.12 billion - a growth of 5 percent compared to last fiscal year. NT, which is also the largest taxpayer of the country, paid around Rs 18.80 billion to state coffer in the last fiscal year.