NT's 4G expansion project gets house panel's nod

Published On: January 30, 2019 05:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 30: The parliament's Finance Committee has directed Nepal Telecom (NT) to complete 4G expansion project within a year.

The meeting of the committee held on Tuesday had directed NT and the Minister of Communication and Information Technology to complete the project within one year.

The committee gave green signal to the project after holding consultation with experts. According to committee's direction, NT has to complete the project within 12 months of the signing of agreement with the vendor.

“We made a thorough study of the project and our main concern was that NT and the country should not face any loss," committee's chair Krishna Prasad Dahal told Republica. "The house panel has concluded its job. Now, the NT and vendor can hold necessary discussion and sign the contract."

NT has awarded the 4G expansion project to a Chinese firm after a global tender call. The state-owned operator has allocated Rs 19 billion o the project divided into two parts -- core network and Recurrent Neural Network (RNN).

However, lawmakers had raised question over the project cost, stating that a private operator was procuring the same service for Rs 3-4 billion.

Experts, including former officials of NT, told members of the committee that project should be implemented without any delay.

The committee has instructed the NT to move ahead as per the legal provisions and decide on its own whether it needs to bring upgraded technology for 4G expansion project.

It has also asked the NT to prepare and implement strategy and concrete work plan for the project so that subscribers across the country get benefited from the new service.

"If the project is not completed within 12 months, concerned authorities will be held accountable," the committee has written in its decision.

The committee has also asked the NT to make a concrete work plan, ensuring that the project will start making profit within five years.

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