English | Dzongkha Thursday, March 4, 2021

Uesu and Samar in Haa anticipate better mobile networks


Jan 11, 2021

People in parts of Uesu and Samar Gewogs in Haa will soon get rid of their disgruntlement regarding the poor mobile network connectivity. Both Bhutan Telecom and TashiCell are working towards improving the network, especially the internet service in the locality.

Without proper internet facilities, 23-year-old Nima Tshering from Sangkiri, a graduate of the College of Language and Cultural Studies in Taktse travelled to his neighbour’s place at Girina village, recently. Both voice and data services are extremely poor at his home which is located some five kilometres away from the national highway. And the internet is a must for him as he is preparing for the Royal Civil Service Examination.

”Internet is a must, especially during the unprecedented times like today, but students like me have to go to places which have a better network,” said Nima. 

Likewise, poor mobile network services have also affected students who attend online classes in the villages. ”Compared to students in urban places, students here are lagging behind because they can’t study well,’’ said Phub Gyeltshen from Girina.

He added that particularly during the pandemic, they are having difficult times as their Tshogpa relays all necessary information through social media platforms like WeChat. 

The situation is even worse at Pajekha village. One of the locals, Tshering Dema, said their children have to go to ‘higher ground and even climb the rooftop’ to access the internet.

”The voice service is also very poor that we have to keep our phone hanging by the windows to receive calls. We sometimes go outside to make calls,” she said.

The problem is almost the same in Jyenkana, Puduna, and Balamna under Samar Gewog. Although the mobile network seems to have favoured the place, the internet speed is reportedly extremely poor. 

Villagers said that they can neither exchange information on social media platforms nor access any from websites. According to them, during critical times like today,  their access to COVID-19 related information has been obstructed. It has also reportedly affected student’s online lessons as well.

”The network is so poor even to make calls that sometimes we land up damaging our phones out of frustration,” said Kinzang Lhamo from Langpa.  

Although both Bhutan telecom and TashiCell have a 3G mobile network tower each at Dorikha, they are gearing up to improve it further.

‘We have the budget ready to upgrade the network towers to 4G but due to the pandemic, we could not purchase equipment on time,’’ said Jigme Dorji, the Regional Manager of Tashi InfoComm Limited. He added that they will begin the work right after the lockdown.  

Similarly, Bhutan Telecom’s Regional Manager, Maita Raj, said they are also set to add an additional Radio Sector to their tower in Goensakha to decongest the network traffic in the next one to two months. This he said will be an immediate temporary measure. 

However, if the issues remain unresolved, the respective gewog administrations will have to propose the network providers for additional towers. Meanwhile, studies will also be conducted to carry out network-improvement works in Samar Gewog.

Kipchu 

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