Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited (Nepal Telecom, or NT) has published its finalised tariff for its new WiMAX services. To date the state-owned PTO has been offering the Wi-Fi internet service for ‘free’ at a number of public locations, following a trial launch in September. Currently, NT says it is providing coverage at Tribhuwan International Airport (both domestic and international terminals), Bir Hospital, Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital, Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre and at a number of NT offices. It has also installed Wi-Fi hotspot in Basantapur, it told MyRepublica. However, it has now received approval from the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) to charge NPR10 (USD0.10) per hour for WiMAX. According to NT’s WiMAX project manager Subash Chandra Sah, with the charges now approved the telco is looking to launch commercial services upon completion of its software systems testing.
In order to use NT’s WiMAX service, users will need to send an SMS to a four-digit number (still to be confirmed), from their post- or pre-paid phones. In return, the customer will get a username and password that is valid for a 24-hour period so they can browse the internet via its network of hotspots. The telco has launched the WiMAX service to capitalise on strong sales of smartphones and other devices in Nepal. NT has deployed 375 WiMAX base stations to date and aims to boost this to 400 in the short term. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the carrier had 3,689 WiMAX subscribers by end-September, up from 1,886 in June.