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NT’s CRTB project to come into operation from November

Nepal Telecom is planning to bring the convergent real time billing (CRBT) system from November, though the telecom service provider claims that it is implementing the system phase-wise manner.

Delay in completion of CRTB project has affected Nepal Telecom in promoting different services in GSM mobile, depriving the customers from availing services at cheaper rates.

The project will allow Nepal Telecom to launch different schemes like data service package in GSM mobile and other value added services, acting managing director of Nepal Telecom Budhi Prasad Acharya, said here today.

The project also enables customers to make payments for different services easily. Once the project comes into full implementation it will help serve all customers of existing and upcoming networks of the company and achieve true convergence of provisioning, customer support, revenue collection, service control, network resource management, customer self care and other activities related to service delivery, and control and management.

With around 9 million customers, GSM mobile is the major service segment of Nepal Telecom.

Asia Info Linkage Technologies, based in Singapore, has signed an agreement with NT to implement the CRTB project at a cost of Rs 2 billion, he said, adding that Nepal Telecom has already implemented CRTB in CDMA service after which it had introduced schemes in data packages in Sky Pro data service.

Normally, it costs less while using data in packages. Using data service under packages costs below Re 0.25 per MB; however in GSM it costs Re 0.50 per MB at a flat rate.

However, the company is not going to lower the tariff of data service immediately, Acharya added. “Of the total income from data, 70 per cent to 75 per cent goes for payment of bandwidth cost to international companies.”

However, the company has been working on a ‘re-engineering’ plan – which will not require payment for bandwidth to access contents already downloaded or accessed – to bring the bandwidth payment cost down, he claimed, adding that Nepal Telecom is investing Rs 18 billion for different projects in the current fiscal year 2014-15. “It has a target to add 2.25 million new customers in voice service including two million in GSM service.

NT is introducing the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) service soon from Durbar Marg and Kathmandu Plaza to provide high-speed data service.

Focusing more on the data segment, the company had set a target to cover all 75 districts with 3G service, WiMax and CDMA data services.

Under the plan, two million GSM mobiles will be added to Nepal Telecom’s network. “A Chinese company Huwawei has been working for the plan,” Acharya added. “Some 200,000 more CDMA mobiles will be distributed and in 25, 956 landline telephone lines will also be added.”

The partially state-owned telecom service provider also claimed that it will improve quality of mobile service and data services, as third generation (3G) service had got more attention from the customers. Nepal Telecom has currently 10.9 million subscribers and 1.72 million were added in the last fiscal year 2013-14.

The company would also prioritise expansion of both wired and wireless broadband internet services, he added. “Nepal Telecom also plans to create WiFi hotspots in all 75 districts headquarters and major business hubs, where a large number people gather.”

According to NT, it has 4.7 million internet service users as of fiscal year 2013-14. In 2012-13, the company added 1.42 million new users to its internet user base.