In the initial days, the backhaul of telecom equipments relied on microwave and satellite communication. The rapid proliferation of various telecom technologies and the desire to penetrate larger market segments resulted in high national and international traffic. The high cost of space segments for statellite communications and limited capacity of Microwave links compelled Nepal Telecom to embrace the optical fiber deployment to cater high volumes of traffic.
Nepal Telecom being the incumbent operator also had the social responsibility of reducing the existing tariff. Consequently, the East West Optical Fiber (EWOF)SDH project became a milestone and left various positive impacts to transfer the life of Nepalese cities into a modern era of Information. Introduction As a part of 7th Telecom Development Project of Nepal Telecom, East West Optical Fibre SDH project laid Optical Fiber information superhighway along the East West highway from Bhadrapur in the East to Lamahi in the west, Kathmandu to Hetauda and from Kohalpur to Nepalgunj in the west, connecting most of the major cities of Nepal .
This project is also taken as a symbol of cooperation between Governments of India and Nepal . Government of India had appointed Telecommunications Consultant India Limited (TCIL) as the executing agency of the project. The first phase of the project was signed in 12th Sep. 2002 between TCIL and NTC. The part of project worth Indian rupees 74. 48 was funded by the Government of India at the same time Nepal Telecom invested Nepalese rupees 40 crores to provide the basic infrastructure to accommodate the network.
The project was developed on Turn-Key basis. The procurement, delivery, installation, commissioning of SDH equipment, optical fiber cable, ducts and GI pipes had been carried by TCIL. The link between Kathmandu to Hetauda is Optical fiber composite overhead Ground Wire (OPGW) that has been leased from Nepal Electricity Authority. Vijay Kumar Thakur Director Western Regional Directorate Twenty four fibre armored single mode fiber cable encased in HDPE lubricated ducts of 40/33 mm diameter were laid underground.
Two additional ducts of similar dimension had been laid to cope the future demand of NT. The project was completed in 20 months starting from 18th December 2002. SDH equipments has been installed in 79 stations as follows:
- STM-16 (30240 channel capacity) at 6 stations
- STM-4 ( 7560 channel capacity) at 19 stations
- STM-1 (1890 channel capacity) at 54 stations.
East (Bhadrapur to Mirchaiya)- 311km 2. Mid (Godar to Pragatinagar)- 375km 3.
West( Kawasoti to Nepalgunj)- 385km Second Phase of the project covered the 3 major links and some spur links namel: Lamahi-Kohalpur-AttariaMahendranagar, Birtamod-Kakarbhitta, ButwalKaligandaki-Pokhara-Damauli-Kathmandu (OPGW link).
It covered 55 stations and 950 km of OFC route. Third phase of the optical network project extends the network to China through Tatopani, along the Araniko highway connecting Bhaktapur, Banepa and Dhulikhel. The network is synchronized by feeding a Primary Reference Clock (PRC) at Patan and 2 GPS based SSUs are installed at Itahari and Butwal.
Overall network elements can be controlled for Fault Management, Performance Management, Configuration Management and Security Management using the Network Management System (NMS) installed at Patan. The installation and commissioning of optical fiber network upgraded the bandwidth and propelled the country into the modern age of information and communication technology. The project has changed the lifeline of the people of the country enabling them to establish small and large enterprises related to information and communication technology.
It created job opportunities like opening cyber cafes, Mobile shops, repair and maintenance centers inside the nation. NT could establish exchanges based on Next Generation Network technology as per the demand of the communities. Similarly, more and more BTS’s were connected with the high bandwidth optical fiber replacing the radios. The direct benefit of the high bandwidth optical fiber network is the increased number of voice and data channels and trunk capacity which enabled NT to reduce the domestic trunk call tariff from Rs. 9 to Rs. immediately after commissioning of the network. Now, it has further been reduced to Re. 1 from any media. Similarly, the international trunk call tariff is reduced to 1/10th of the initial tariff. The huge bandwidth available through this network can be employed for number of purposes.
Some of these are as below: Connecting GSM and CDMA BTSs to provide 3G/multimedia services, Setting up core IP network towards NGN., IT enabled service industries like Business Process Outsourcing, Video conferencing and E-Learning, Telemedicine, E-commerce, E-governance, Fiber To. The Home 9th Anniversary Souvenir 2013 Fibre To The Home (FTTH) Nepal Telecom has already completed the installation of optical fibre links to the exchanges commonly known as Fibre To The Exchanges (FTTX). As the demand of high bandwidth by the modern multimedia application increases some of the network operators in the world are replacing the existing copper wire with optical fiber from exchange to the customer premise. This concept is called as Fiber To The Home (FTTH). The existing optical fibre network will enable us to go for this new avenue.
Many FTTH networks today offer transmission speeds of up to 100 megabits per second downstream – and almost as much upstream – with a few providers now offering speeds of up to a gigabit per second. And one of the great things about fiber is that it is “future proof” – that is, the technology keeps improving will continue to enable vast increases in bandwidth over the same installed fiber. Conclusion The Optical Fiber network has propelled the development of nation in terms of information and communication technology enabling the service oriented enterprises and public to claim their presence in the global arena of information. We, now, have to concentrate on the development of the multimedia content of various walks of our life for the internal consumption which will greatly reduce the external bandwidth consumption preserving our valuable national revenues.