NTA cancels tender for free Wi-Fi services in tourist and religious places
February 24, 2020 11:58 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Feb 24: The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has canceled the tender for providing free Wi-Fi network in tourist and religious places in the country under the Package B and Package C. NTA had issued a notice on Thursday about the cancellation of the tender as all the applicants were non-responsive.
According to Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson of the NTA, most of the applicants were non-responsive and those who had responded did not meet the criteria fixed by the NTA.
“We have canceled the tender for providing free Wi-Fi network in tourist and religious places as most of the applicants were non-responsive and applicants who were interested did not meet our criteria,” said Aryal. “As the project is related with the Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign, we wanted to provide good and quality internet service but we do not want to choose operators who do not meet our criteria.”
Earlier, NTA announced to implement the Wi-Fi project targeting the VNY 2020 campaign as the Wi-Fi project will help tourists to connect to the internet in remote areas where they have either access to slow internet or no Wi-Fi service at all.
NTA is investing around Rs 170 million in this project to provide the free Wi-Fi service. NTA will also provide subsidy to the operator. The operator should pay 4% royalty annually and manage and monitor the Wi-Fi network for five years.
NTA has selected historic, cultural, religious and tourist destinations to provide free Wi-Fi service and has divided these places into three packages. Package A for the project included trekking routes of Annapurna Circuit and Muktinath temple, Package B included Everest base camp and Package C included Janaki temple, Pathivara Halesi Mahadev, Barah Chettra, Gurudwara, Jame Mosque and Panch Kashimiri Takiya.
The deadline for the implementation of the Wi-Fi network is six months which also includes laying optical fiber, installing routers, towers and operating the Wi-Fi network in the selected places.
However, VNY 2020 has already started but the failure of the tender procedure questions the completion of the project within the targeted time.
“After the cancellation of the tender, we will again start for the tender procedure. This procedure cannot be done within short period as it requires proper planning and execution. We will provide quality service and can complete the project within the targeted period,” said Aryal.
According to the officials of NTA, the dedicated bandwidth for the Wi-Fi is 10-25 Mbps which varies from place to place and the cached transmission capacity is 50 Mbps to 125 Mbps. On the usage of free Wi-Fi, there are certain restrictions as the user needs to authenticate with a One-Time Password (OTP) sent through SMS to their mobile number by operators and the free Wi-Fi will last for 15 minutes but after that, the customer can purchase internet packages with vouchers.