Nepal Telecom Deploys Fiber Optic Cable from Kathmandu to China Border

The Himalayan State , Nepal’s incumbent telecom operator Nepal Telecom (NT) has finished deployment of fiber optic cables from the capital Kathmandu to the Rasuwagadi border area near China in an attempt to boost communication services between the two countries. There is considerable growth in communication services between two countries recently. Newly installed fiber optic cables will further connected to the cables coming from China to have an across the border connectivity.

Connectivity with one of the fast growing industrial country, China will give access to the citizens of Nepal to update with the global developments and avail advantages of high speed broadband applications. Historically, Nepal has been associated with its neighboring India and has declined consciously to cooperate with China. The political leadership in Nepal has been traditionally aligned with India. There is a shift in the mind of policy makers, which was reflected in Nepal’s decision to amend its constitution against India’s wishes. Nepal’s shift to China from its traditional friend India has raised concerns to Indian leadership. However, India’s changed leadership look into China as a potential partner for mutual growth and business. Hence Indian policy makers also look into a high speed connectivity with China through Nepal.

Nepal Telecom spokesperson Pratibha Vaidya told the Chinese news agency Xinhua that they have completed laying optical fiber cables to Nepal-China border point Rasuwagadi from Kathmandu via Galchhi of Dhading district and Dhunche of Rasuwa district five days ago, which has paved the way for interconnecting service of the NT with the China Telecom.

Nepal Telecom installed All-Dielectric Self-Supporting (ADSS) Aerial fiber optic cables to connect Rasuwagadi border and Kathmandu. All-Dielectric self-supporting cables are non-metallic fiber optic cables that are constructed purely out of non-metallic elements. This means, there are no metallic elements in the cable. Due to this reason, ADSS cables can be installed along with high electric power transmission lines. One of the concerns when installing fiber optic cables near high voltage electrical cables is the electromotive force due to induction. If metallic elements are used in fiber optic cables, electricity from the nearby power cables will get transmitted to the metallic elements of fiber optic cables. While it is life-threatening to the personnel, it also damages the cable materials through Corona effect.

ADSS cables are costly compared to conventional fiber optic cables. ADSS cables make use of high strength aramid yarns for their high tensile requirements. ADSS cable installation span usually ranges from 50 to 600 meters and even more depending on the geography. The quantity of aramid yarn is directly proportional to the span length. To effectively protect ADSS cables from corona effect, manufacturers use Anti-tracking sheathing materials.

Nepal Telecom officials said that they have already started installation of equipment for inter-connectivity with China and trial for service. The operator has planned to finish trial for direct traffic exchange among Nepal, China and India within this month. The completion of all the procedures about connectivity will have significant improvement in data and voice services currently being offered by the Nepal Telecom.

Once the Nepal Telecom gets connected with the China Telecom through optical fiber cable, it will be directly linked to Hong Kong Data Center, which is one of the two biggest global data centers in Asia. Nepal can now establish global connectivity through Hong Kong via China, or Singapore via India. Service will become cheaper and faster from June after connecting with both the hubs in Hong Kong and Singapore. Internet sharing can also be done along with the fiber optic networks. Nepal Prime Minister had agreed with Chinese counterpart to enhance connectivity between the two countries on a recent meeting in China.

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