State owned operator Nepal Telecom (Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited, or NT) plans to upgrade its CDMA network to an internet protocol (IP) CDMA network, as it looks to significantly improve the quality of voice and data services, and prepare for the launch of 3G mobile telephone services, local paper Republika reports. NT’s existing CDMA platform only supports voice services but NT is looking to change this and also to relieve a number of issues relating to network congestion, it says. ‘The IP architecture will help us counter this problem as it will have ample bandwidth,’ an official at NT is quoted as saying. ‘This will ensure high-quality voice and data connectivity, regardless of the terrain,’ he added.
The operator is in the process of issuing a public tender notice, asking domestic and international telecom equipment suppliers to submit bid documents. ‘The process of upgrading the network will begin soon after the preferred bidder is selected,’ the source said. Once installed, NT will be able to launch 3G mobile services using the CDMA network. To date, NT has distributed more than 700,000 CDMA lines throughout the country, of which more than 500,000 have been distributed as cell phone lines and 180,000 as fixed phone lines. The telecom giant is planning to distribute 260,000 additional CDMA lines during its current fiscal year, of which around 210,000 will be in the form of pre-paid lines and the remainder, monthly contract post-paid lines.