Services: Deadline that the Prime Minister gave the two telcos to improve their services is nearing while users continue to complain about the poor quality services.

Both Bhutan Telecom Ltd and Tashi InfoComm Ltd are in the process to decongest networks, but the telcos say that improvement of the services as expected by both the government and the customers may not happen within the given time frame.

The Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority (BICMA), after noticing the deterioration of the quality of the mobile cellular services in the country initiated a survey.

The survey was conducted in eight dzongkhags to find out the mobile users’ experience of the services, both voice and data. The survey is being finalised.

BICMA’s officiating director general, Wangay Dorji, said that officials from the authority found some issues concerning quality of services from both the telcos. However, he said the issues were not as grave as they are reported in the social and mainstream media.

Wangay Dorji said that it is the urban centres where large number of users avail of the services of the telcos who are affected the most. “In rural areas, where there are limited number of users, quality is not a problem.”

With the growing concerns over the deteriorating quality of services, BICMA also signed a performance agreement with the two telcos on March 30 this year.

According to the agreement, the telcos are required to carry out initiatives to resolve network congestion in order to maintain the quality of services, both voice and internet.

The plan is also to upgrade the core network and radio transmission system, building new 3G Nodes and measures to find alternative solutions to offload the 3G-network congestion.

In April, BICMA also initiated the collection of data on the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for 3G BTS towers in Thimphu.

There are a total of 50 BTS in Thimphu; 31 belongs to Bhutan Telecom.

The KPI data is collected during the peak hours from both the telcos between 8am to 9am and 6pm to 10pm, considered the peak hours.

The data is currently being reviewed and analysed. The report will be made public by the end of the month.

Wangay Dorji said that the authority is aware of the problems and is working with the telcos to improve the services. He added that improving the quality of the services cannot happen overnight.

Today, there are approximately 424,000 Bhutan Telecom and 205,000 TashiCell subscribers.

Younten Tshedup