KATHMANDU, Aug 4: Nepal Telecom (NT) is launching IP-CDMA service with high-quality voice and data speed up to 3.1 Mbps, starting from next week. The state-owned operator announced the project of 2 million IP-CDMA lines about a year ago to introduce the service targeting data users.
Deputy Managing Director of NT Anoop Ranjan Bhattarai said, "Test calls were conducted successfully and we are ready to introduce the service."
The operator has bonding with Korea-based handset manufacturer Samsung and France-based Alactel as EVDO-enabled sets are not available in the market.
Hemanta Agrawal, director at Chaudhary Group, authorized distributor of Alcatel for Nepal, said the set for IP-CDMA was being made available within a week. "We will be introducing the one-touch 990c model of the set in the market."
The service along with the handset is priced at Rs 13,500. Bhattarai said the operator was providing RIM cards worth Rs 300 along with a balance of Rs 200 every month for a year at that price. The charge for data will be on usage basis.
The price of the Samsung handset is also similar but comes with different features. "This will provide customers with choices," he said.
Deepak Malahotra, executive chairman of IMS, the authorized distributor of Samsung mobile, said the EV-DO enabled Samsung handset was coming into the market within 20-25 days.
Dealers said that they will be introducing more models of EV-DO sets in the near future.
NT is introducing the Revision A (REV A) version that increases the peak data rate on the reverse and forward links, enabling customers to send large files, high resolution photographs and videos from mobile devices. IP-CDMA users will also be able to make VoIP calls, do video telephony and other functions.
The service activated set will be available at all NT counters across the country (where the EV-DO network is available) along with the retail stores of Alcatel and Samsung.
China-based telecommunication solutions provider Huawei had won the tender at $ 30 million for the implementation of the 2 million IP-CDMA project under two different phases.
NT´s data user customers have gone up significantly in the past fiscal year, with a growth of 140 percent. NT´s data users including GPRS and ADSL have reached 2.13 million. NT officials are hopeful the new service will answer to data users seeking better speed.
The operator is also planning to launch WiMAX and MSAN services targeting data users, this fiscal year.
Bhattarai said that the introduction of the service was going to make wireless surfing easier and those living in rural areas were going to benefit from high internet speed.
In the first phase of the launch, the service is to be available in Kathmandu, all the districts of Lumbini Zone, Hetauda, Bharatpur, Birgunj and other major cities. "We are targeting to make the service available across the country within a year," he said.