Event: A three-day event organised by telecommunications company TashiCell, to showcase and market their products and services, began at the Clock Tower Square in Thimphu, yesterday.

Besides using the event to announce the availability of its 3G services in all the main towns of the 20 dzongkhags and that it is the authorised dealer for Samsung mobile phones and tablets in Bhutan, activities under a theme of empowering women and youth will also be held.

“We’re proud to be Bhutan’s first service provider to connect all the district headquarters with 3G services even though we’ve entered the market late,” TashiCell’s managing director Tashi Tshering said.

He also pointed out that TashiCell was getting involved in the mobile phone and tablet business to enhance the mobile eco-system by providing customers with not only a supplier but with warranties and support services as well.

Under its theme of empowering women and youth, an inter-school art competition, a beauty pageant, and a free style dance competition will also be held.

In a press conference, TashiCell head of network planning and strategies, Jamyang, said that the company’s 3G infrastructure was fully catering to existing demand. TashiCell has around 80,000 3G subscribers.

In response to what it is doing to ensure it does not face congestion problems as its 3G subscriber base increases, Jamyang said that the company is ready to scale up its network capacity as demand increased.

On whether the company has any plans to reduce data or voice rates, TashiCell managing director Tashi Tshering said prices have already hit “rockbottom”.

He pointed out that if rates are compared in the region, TashiCell’s rates are similar to Thailand and at least six times cheaper than in the Maldives.

“Our rates are fairly reasonable,” he said, especially given the small size of the Bhutanese market.

However, he said that the company may reduce its rates on leased line internet. “This is an area we might find some room to reduce rates,” he said.

Gyalsten K Dorji