At first, we thank Nepal Telecom for their help during the Gorkha Earthquake 2072. They provided free calls and free internet at the time of need. Now, Nepal Telecom has been ordered to improve its service by the government. This includes a cellular network upgrade, coverage increment, ADSL speed, 4G network initiation, and BTS tower increment. The order was given by the Byabasthapika Sansad’s Development committee. The meeting pointed NTC to upgrade their PSTN service as well. Many users have complaints against NTC ADSL bandwidth as well.
NTC earned Rs 2 Billion in profit last year. The telecom earns very high profit and pays a lot of taxes. It is good to see a company paying a lot of tax. However, it should not be in the trade-off for bad service. Many users have complaints about PSTN, mobile call drop and internet. NTC ADSL comes at the top in worst service because of many problems. Many users are leaving them for private cable and fiber providers.
NTC ADSL Problem
NTC has been serving just a basic of 192 Kbps at Rs 1017. This is a very low-speed service compared to any other private ISP. Even their up-time is really bad. Users also suffer from errors like net connectivity with the only P2P but no HTTP browsing. According to our survey, we found many people left ADSL in these recent years. They are choosing private ISP companies due to attractive service and price.
The only reason people stay with ADSL is that there are many ways to pay the bill. There is no extra cost for installation. It is a government service and there is a recharge card payment system. Most importantly, people stick to it because they have PSTN and it is easy to get service. We still believe that someday they will improve the service. One of our team member and user went to the office to find out about some problems of NTC ADSL downtime and we found many issues. Officials helped us to get an idea about system and issues.
After this latest order, we believe things will change. According to daily newspapers ‘Hello Sarkar’ at a huge amount of complaints this last year. They were regarding the downtime of ADSL. Company is promising to improve its service. We hope to get 256 Kbps or 384 Kbps at least at the same price of 192 Kbps at this time.
4G Initiation and Network coverage Upgrade
NTC has also been told to initiate 4G service. As of now, there is only 2G, 3G, and 3.5G in Nepal. India also introduced 4G service in Delhi last month. Nepal Telecom has been directed to increase the number of its BTS tower and upgrade the coverage, network responsiveness and reduce the clogging and downtime. There is a big problem of call drop as well.
The committee ordered to make plans to update their infrastructure that would be good for the next 20 years to come. The committee is addressing complaints of all people who are complaining about the services of Nepal Telecom. Buddhiprasad Acharya of NTC said they are taking steps to mitigate these problems.
4G can be a big revolution in Nepal. This can change the data and internet scenario. As mobile data becomes faster and more accessible, people can do better work and business. Entertainment, education and technology sector can grow further. Nepal Telecom (NTC) should focus on 4G for whole Nepal and maybe also think for 5G when the time comes.
Progress and Status
NTC is slowly taking steps to improve their service. But according to people, it is not good enough. This is because the competition is high and other companies are providing exceptionally brilliant service. We know that this slow development is due to the fact that it is a government-owned organization. Therefore many processes need to be done before any work is carried out.
By the way, in the last few years, NTC made good steps like WiMax. This is actually being used in long-distance buses to provide WiFi. New FTTH service has been initiated but it is expensive and limited in coverage. Compared to other services, the network upgrades on voice and data since the last two years is really good. We found a very good change in the last three years while surfing the internet using mobile data in NTC 3G and 3.5G.
The new GSM Prepaid data package is also one good marketing step. This fits the need of the market and time. They have also started an online recharge system that makes top-up easier. The company also introduced a new service to check the remaining volume of their data or package subscription for both mobile data and WiMax. So let’s hope to see good results in ADSL, voice, data, WiMax, PSTN and Wifi Hotspot services. We are positive and want to see good changes.