To provide undisrupted communication and in preparation of a disaster, a disaster resilient mobile network opened in Bumthang.

With financial support of Nu 600M from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Bhutan Telecom’s (BT) internal fund of Nu 40M, the disaster resilient mobile network was inaugurated on June 29.

The construction of a disaster resilient emergency mobile network was signed on December 20, 2017 between JICA and GNHC.

Project manager Jichen Thinley said the set up in Jakar is an exact replica of Thimphu and should anything happen to either of the mobile core centers, one will takeover the services. “We are very confident with in this place to provide services in terms of disaster.”

Bhutan Telecom currently has only one mobile core equipment in network operation center in Thimphu. “In any event of disaster happening to that building, communications services will be totally disrupted both within and outside Bhutan,” a press releases from BT states.

Now with two cores working in pool, even with major failures with either core due to disaster, there will not be total disruption of the service, which would facilitate emergency rescue and restoration works.

First secretary with Japanese Embassy, New Delhi, Fumitaka Fuiwara said that, this project would further enhance Bhutan-Japan cooperation.

“As Bhutan prepares to graduate from the least developed country status, Japan is ready to continue providing comprehensive support.”

The press release states that, with the second mobile core in Bumthang, not only the reliability and resilience of BT mobile services will improve during normal conditions but also in the event of major disasters in the country.

The CEO of Bhutan Telecom Karma Jurme said that the goal of the project is to inform the reliability of the mobile communication system and avoid outrageous of mobile communications service if and should a disaster occur.

He said that, in keeping with BTs belief to keep the country connected at all times and with the commissioning of the second core, they are confident that Bhutan will not face complete communication blackout even in the events of natural disaster and calamities.

Information and communications minister Karma Donnen Wangdi said that the disaster resilient mobile network would enable and facilitate the government in restoration during disaster.

He said that the project would not only benefit BT as the direct recipient of the JICA grant, but the entire country.

The grant aid of Japanese government from 1991-98 helped develop Bhutan’s domestic telecommunication network, which laid the foundation of BTs network.

Nim Dorji | Bumthang