Suung-joen app would take about a year to be developed and about five years for operation across the country, information and communications minister Karma Donnen Wangdi said at the meet-the-press yesterday.

The app is one of the government’s 25 pledges to be implemented in 120 days. The app, according to the government, would enable Bhutanese to communicate freely without the need to recharge the voucher.

Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi said the app would also help reduce the gap between those who have access to Internet and those who don’t.

“We can launch the app if we want to but if doesn’t work, we don’t want to blame someone else. What we want to do is provide a good functioning app to the people.”

“The app is like a vehicle for which there is need of roads and the Wi-Fi hotspot we promised is like the road. Wi-Fi hotspot in just one place such as Thimphu can be done but we are looking at giving the services throughout the country,” Lyonpo said.

Preliminary work towards developing the app began as soon as the government was formed, Lyonpo said.

Although Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi said that it would take about five years for the app to be operationalised during a National Assembly question hour session, the foreign minister was quoted in media stating that the app was more or less ready.

To this Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi said that foreign minister was referring to one of the preliminary prototype applications that were developed. “When we develop an app we have a lot of phases and we are also conducting various tests now and then.”

The app will also have options for an individual to avail the G2C services.

A person wouldn’t require visiting the community information centre (CIC) to avail services but can do it through the app, Lyonpo said.

“Within one or two years we can start to carry out the work but for the entire country coverage, it will take a maximum of five years.”

Phurpa Lhamo