English | Dzongkha Monday, October 21, 2019

BT’s exact replica of the core system in Thimphu launched in Bumthang

Kipchu, Bumthang.
Jun 30, 2019

Bhutan will not face a telecommunication blackout in case a major disaster damages the core mobile network systems in Thimphu. This is because Bhutan Telecom now has a backup facility called the Disaster Resilient Emergency Mobile Network constructed in Bumthang. The facility was launched yesterday.

The Information and Communications minister, Karma Donnen Wangdi and the First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy in New Delhi, Fumitaka Fujiwara launched the Disaster Resilient Emergency Mobile Network. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided over Nu 600 M grant aid to Bhutan Telecom for the project.

“Now that we are prepared, even if there is a major failure with one of the cores, we will not suffer total disruption of telecom services, and thereby, enable the government to facilitate emergency rescue and restoration operations. This project, therefore, will not only benefit Bhutan Telecom, as a direct recipient of the JICA Grant but also, our entire nation as a whole,” said Karma Donnen Wangdi, the minister for information and communications.

At the inaugural ceremony yesterday, the Japanese side reaffirmed JICA’s ‘comprehensive support’ to Bhutan in the future.

“I hope this project will contribute towards further enhancing the cooperation between Japan and Bhutan. As Bhutan now prepare to graduate from the category of Least Developed Countries, Japan is ready to continue to provide comprehensive support as ever,” Fumitaka Fujiwara, the First Secretary for Embassy of Japan, New Delhi, said.

Under the Construction of Disaster Resilient Emergency Mobile Network project, an identical set up of the core system that currently provides Bhutan Telecom’s mobile network throughout the country is constructed at Dekiling in Bumthang. These are exactly the same equipment in Thimphu that provides Bhutan Telecom’s mobile network throughout the country.

“What we have at Bumthang now is the exact replica of the core system in Thimphu. So, in case anything happens to the mobile core of Thimphu then the Jakar will take over the services and likewise, if anything happens to Jakar core, Thimphu core will take over. So, we are very confident with this in place today because we are now ready to provide mobile networks in the country seamlessly even during in an event of a disaster,” Jichen Thinley, the Project Manager for Bhutan Telecom added.

JICA has also helped Bhutan develop its domestic telecommunications network with its Grant Aid from 1991 to 1998. This laid the foundations of Bhutan Telecom in the early 1990s.

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