KATHMANDU, Nov 8: Nepal Telecom (NT) is finally launching Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) services in the Kathmandu Valley from November 12.
Once introduced, it will make high-speed broadband internet service accessible at affordable rates, however, the state-owned telecom service provider on Thursday said it was initiating the services for priority customers only, and in the Valley they were corporate clients such as business firms, health, educational and financial institutions, diplomatic missions, non-governmental and international non-governmental organizations.
"Individuals in the Valley will need to wait for more than a month to get the service," Guna Keshari Pradhan, NT spokesperson told Republica. Even when it makes the service available for general customers they will still not be NT´s priority, she added.
NT on Thursday also announced three different volume-based packages. Under these packages, subscribers preferring data transfer rate of 256 kbps will need to pay Rs 650 for 5 GB a month, Rs 1,100 per month for 10 GB, Rs 1,500 for 15 GB, Rs 1,800 for 20 GB and Rs 2,500 per month for 30 GB.
Those preferring data rate of 512 kbps can subscribe volume of 8 GB at Rs 850 per month; 12 GB at Rs 1,250 a month; 20 GB at Rs 2,000; 30 GB at Rs 2,700; and 40 GB at Rs 3,400 per month.
Moreover, subscribers seeking data rate of 1mbps or above will need to pay Rs 1,340 per month for volume of 12 GB; Rs 2,200 for 20 GB; Rs 2,900 for 32 GB; Rs 4,300 for 48 GB; and Rs 5,190 for 60 GB a month.
NT, however, has said for a few months it was availing 1 mbps transfer package of 30 MB or more to corporate houses and business firms only.
WiMAX is based on wireless technology and will enable subscribers to access internet services on their desktop and laptop through USB modem.
To access the service, the subscribers would need to buy customer premises equipment (CPE), which comes in three types -- outdoor, indoor and USB dongle. Outdoor CPE will enable the subscriber access signal within a range of 15 kilometers, while indoor device will facilitate signal access with 5 kilometers range."
"As CPE is not easily available in the local market, we will be selling it with the introduction of WiMAX from our Sundhara office," NT has said in its press statement.
NT is introducing WiMAX as per the government´s policy of extending broadband internet service throughout the country. Though the first phase of distribution will cover the Kathmandu Valley only, NT has said that in the second phase it would extend the service in other cities outside the Valley like Pokhara and Bhairahawa.
"After that, we will eventually expand it throughout the country within a year. Together we will be distributing 200,000 lines throughout the country through this period," reads the statement.
Likewise, NT has also decided to set up WiFi Hotspot in 1,500 different spots wherein a large number of possible subscribers are clustered. These include universities, hospitals, restaurants, airports, parks, shopping malls, major bus stands and tourism sports.
In those spots, customers can make use of the WiMAX service through WiFi Hotstop voucher.