Nepal Telecom (NT) yesterday launched a wireless in the local loop (WiLL) service based on CDMA technology, to mark the company’s second anniversary on 4 February. In the launch phase, the operator has deployed around 250,000 phone lines in Kathmandu, Narayani zone, Janakpur, Biratnagar, Bhairahawa, Pokhara and Dhangadhi, with around 20% of total lines being installed in Kathmandu to address pent up demand; 100,000 people are on a waiting list for a connection in the capital, while countrywide, the figure is estimated to be 400,000.
The launch of the new WiLL network has been a long time coming. CDMA services were stopped on 20 July 2005 as the result of an ‘erroneous’ Supreme Court interim order, but two weeks ago the Court overturned the ruling, enabling NT to go ahead. The CDMA-based system utilises wireless technology which will facilitate a cost-effective and time-saving network expansion in Nepal’s difficult geographical terrain. NT plans to make available one million lines throughout the country in three phases by 2008.