ICT: The remotest gewog in the country, Lunana was connected to the B-mobile network in October 2011. But since last year the gewog has been experiencing frequent network problems.

Former Lunana gup, Gyembo Tshering, said that since the start of 2016, network problems began emerging and gradually the network failed at least thrice a week.

Gyembo Tshering said the issue was raised twice in the Dzongkhag Tshogdu and Bhutan Telecom was requested to address the issue verbally.

Gyembo Tshering said that since the establishment of mobile connectivity, the service has helped people in many ways and improved their lives. He said that without the B-mobile network, people have to walk for days to reach Wachey chiwog to make calls using the TashiCell network.

While B-mobile covers three of the five chiwogs of Hedhi, Tshojong and Thanza, TashiCell covers Wachey and Eusana chiwogs. Of more than 900 registered people in Lunana, around 800 live in the three chiwogs connected to the B-mobile network and the remaining use TashiCell, said Gyembo Tshering.

The TashiCell network was installed after the B-mobile satellite could not cover the two chiwogs of Wachey-Eusana as it was located between Ganjula and Kechela, he said.

Following frequent network failures, Bhutan Telecom sent two separate technical teams to check the satellite dish in Lunana, according to the company. Bhutan Telecom officials said unlike other places, the communications service installed in Lunana is  satellite based, which is a low-powered Base Transceiver Station (BTS). The lower-powered BTS can work without electricity.

Bhutan Telecom’s general manger for marketing and spokesperson, Penjore said the problem was found to be the satellite link between Bhutan Telecom and INTELSAT, a UK based satellite company that provides satellite services to Bhutan Telecom.

“We have been taking the matter very seriously,” said Penjore. Continued communication and discussions are going on between Bhutan Telecom and INTELSAT to resolve the problem, said Penjore.

“Since the trouble shooting process is underway with INTELSAT, we are not able to comment on when the problem would be resolved. However, we are trying to resolve it as soon as possible,” he added.

Dawa Gyelmo | Gasa