State-owned Nepal Telecom (NT) has announced that it is postponing today’s planned launch of WiMAX services, as a result of problems in the testing phase and problems in procuring WiMAX dongles. The company now hopes to launch commercially by end-November and although no price plans have been published, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has reportedly approved tariffs that will start at NPR1,100 (USD12.87) for a 10GB package with a 256kbps connection. A capped 15GB plan costs NPR1,500 and a 20GB plan will be NPR1,800.
As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, NT has signed a USD10 million contract with a US vendor for the supply of new equipment and is currently deploying WiMAX infrastructure in 46 locations in Kathmandu Valley and its environs in the launch phase. In stage two, it plans to extend coverage to Bhairahawa, Pokhara and village development committees (VDCs) in the immediate surrounding areas. Under phase one NT is covering 1,923 VDCs in 24 areas in western Nepal, while the second stage will encompass 2,092 VDCs and 34 regions in the east of the Kingdom. The telco’s new WiMAX offer will have a minimum symmetrical connection of 256kbps, and will be further supported by the installation of up to 1,500 hotspots in urban areas of the country.