Nepal Telecom (NT), in an effort to meet the hugely growing demand for data, had sought to buy bandwidth supply from China. Nepal and China will be linked through the Jilong Gateway with terrestrial cable route. NT had signed an agreement with the Chinese Telecom in December of last year and had expected the plan to be completed by mid-February.
But the plan was moved to the last of May after an avalanche hit the area where optical fibers were being laid. The avalanche blocked the connection on the Chinese side. And reinstating the connection is difficult because of thick snow. Realizing these difficulties, an alternate route is being used which is 20 kilometers longer.
Shobhan Adhikari, joint spokesperson of NT said, “The task of extending the fiber network is taking place at an altitude of around 4,000 meters and higher. This is a complex matter and hence it takes time.” He further added, “We had conducted a test in the previous network and we will have to repeat the process again in the new route.” This alternate route is expected to be completed by mid-May. NT then needs a few weeks for the operation of the system.
Currently, India has a monopoly over bandwidth supply with NT buying bandwidth from different telecom service providers in India. But opening the Chinese gateway will serve to end it. It will also help service providers in Nepal to establish connections with other countries through China.
After a disagreement with the Chinese government, Google shifted its base to Hong Kong from mainland China. And the Chinese government imposed a ban on Google in the mainland. Considering this, NT is also tapping into Hong Kong’s servers to ensure seamless browsing of Google network and other social media sites.
Regarding this plan, Adhikari added, “Initially, we will buy a limited volume of internet bandwidth from China. Based on the feedback and performance, we will gradually increase the supply in the coming days.”
Edited by – Sushil Awale