Lead Team: Bhutan Telecom will expand its 3G network by adding Thimphu,
Phuentsholing, Paro and Gelephu to its network. 40 locations in western and
central Bhutan will have access to 3G services in 2012.
3G coverage is
currently limited to the centre of the capital city, Thimphu – but will be
expanded to western and central Bhutan. In urban Thimphu, six more base
stations will be added to the 14 existing 3G sites.
The other 20
locations will be added in Phuentsholing, Paro and Gelephu and at tertiary
institutes like Sherubtse College, College of Science and Technology and the
college of business studies in Gedu.
people at these institutions are in need of these services and they are the
people who use these services more often. We are sure that this project along
with the fiber network that is being laid around the country by the government,
will make communication more reliable and faster,” said Nidup Dorji, CEO of
The 3G network
was first launched in May 2008, with equipment supplied by Ericsson. The
present 3G sites in Thimphu are located within a five km radius of Bhutan
Telecom head office.
said that the September 18 earthquake last year highlighted its lack of
preparedness and it is fully aware of the quality of services during such
calamities and commissioning an in-depth study into these problems such as call
congestions, call drops and data problems which will be solved within the year.
The speed and
the progress decreases with increase in subscribers but we’ll fix this
inconvenience by the end of the year,” said Deo Kumar Biswa, marketing division
general manager at Bhutan telecom.
is planning to upgrade the towers and improve quality by providing radio buses
during such disasters. Nearly a billion ngultrums has being kept for capital
investments of which Nu 540 million is to be allocated to optimise and expand
B-mobile’s network according to the general manager.
Apart from 3G
services, Bhutan Telecom will provide Next Generation Network, Fiber to the
Cabinet (FTTC) services for fast and reliable communications and broadband
connections around the country.
the number of mobile subscribers in Bhutan grew in four or five years but
growth eased considerably in 2010-2011 to less than 20 percent annually.
The launch of a second
mobile operator in 2008 made the market a competitive one, the competition no
doubt helping boost the overall growth rate.
With the success of the
mobile network, fixed-line subscriber numbers have been easing downwards over
the last few years; it is not certain when this sector will stabilize.
penetration continues to be disconcertingly low with subscriber penetration
still below 2 percent in 2011.