State owned PTO Nepal Telecom (NT) plans to roll out fibre-optic links in an additional 13 district headquarters and their major business hubs across the country in its current financial year. The move comes on top of the deployment of fibre backbone links – seen as the best option for supporting voice and broadband data services – to 34 districts in its last fiscal year. The telco has selected Chinese vendor Sichuan Qingfeng Communications Company to install the new fibre links, which will connect Dang, Salyan, Baglung, Gorkha, Ilam, Panchthar, Rolpa, Siraha, Udaypur, Saptari and Sunsari. Commenting on the development, NT spokesperson Guna Kesari Pradhan said: ‘The company is also working on a plan to establish ‘circles’ of fibre links which will have alternative transmission links to continue service even when there is a problem’. She notes that NT has been continuing its optical fibre project as per its annual plans in a bid to extend fibre links to all 75 districts in the country. This year the telco will also extend fibre links on the Tulsipur-Salyan, Baglung-Beni, Abukhaireni-Gorkha, Kathmandu-Galchhi-Gajuri, Budhabare-Phikkal-Aaitabare-Ilam-Phidim, Balefi-Chautara, Galchhi-Tarukghat-Trishuli, Syangja-Galyang, Khalanga-Jhimruk-Lamhi and Sandhikharka-Khalanga routes. It is also working on different routes that will bring Saptari, Morang, Sunsari, Udaypur and Siraha into the fibre network, she said.
Earlier this month TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that NT is gearing up for a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) launch in the country. As part of the project, NT is looking to deploy FTTH in ten local exchanges in Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Birgunj, Butwal, Pokhara and Bhadrapur, to enable its systems and networks to provide the high speed service. The telco’s deputy managing director Bhagat Man Singh Pradhan was quoted as saying that installation works in the Sundhara and Naxal exchanges are ‘near completion’ and that NT plans to pilot FTTH in some areas like Durbar Marg in the near future. Going forward, the state-owned carrier intends to begin fully distributing its FTTH service early in the next fiscal year (2013/14), initially by targeting corporate/business users. The company hopes its own offering will be able to deliver maximum connection speeds of 100Mbps and that its FTTH offer will gradually be extended countrywide to meet demand.