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Mobile Broadband: Way Forward to Bridge Digital Divide Bhutanese Experience Wangay Dorji HEAD, Telecommunications Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority Africa.

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Presentation on theme: "Mobile Broadband: Way Forward to Bridge Digital Divide Bhutanese Experience Wangay Dorji HEAD, Telecommunications Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority Africa."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mobile Broadband: Way Forward to Bridge Digital Divide Bhutanese Experience Wangay Dorji HEAD, Telecommunications Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:

2 Global Trend in Broadband Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:

3 Digital Divide : Broadband -Disparity in the growth of broadband, globally, might create “ Digital Divide” with the region as well as within the country -Gap between Rich and Poor countries might widen -Around 830 million people living in the 49 UN designated Least Developed Countries (LDCs) do not enjoy access to broadband services ( ITU report) - Mobile phone subscribers in LDCs grew from 2 to 280 million, Internet penetration is still at around 4.6 percent Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:

4 Factors Attributing to the Digital Divide -Lack of Infrastructure ( Missing Link Report) -Widening levels of education seem to magnify the digital divide ( Stanford report) -Income/cost of access -Race Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:

5 Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX: Mobile Broadband in the Kingdom of Bhutan

6 ICT status in Bhutan Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:

7 Growth of Mobile cellular market Significant growth has been seen with the introduction of second mobile cellular operator in the year 2007 Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:

8 Internet Connectivity - Significant growth in Internet users ( around 14 percent penetration) is seen in the last few years - Mobile broadband is growing exponentially Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:

9 Initiatives to promote broadband Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX: Government’s initiative to establish nationwide broadband infrastructure ( optical fibre project )

10 Initiatives to promote broadband (2)…. -Initiate Rural Communications program ( Universal Accessibility) “ to ensure every citizen, irrespective of where they dwell, have access to communications ( voice and data) by end of 2012” - Established ICT skill building project ( “ Chiphen Rigphel) Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:

11 Wireless Broadband : The ultimate technology to bridge digital divide Bhutanese Experience -Due to its harsh terrain, wireless would be the ultimate technology to connect the people of Bhutan. -The fast growth of mobile cellular services demonstrated that, wireless is the easy, fastest and cheaper when compare to terrestrial ( fixed) and satellite technology. Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:

12 - Mobile Broadband user increased rapidly in the last three years and contributed significantly to the Internet penetration - No significant growth was seen in the Fixed broadband ( ADSL) - The incumbent operator ( Bhutan Telecom Ltd.) plans to roll-out its 3G high speed Internet connectivity to 40 location in Western and Central Bhutan by end of 2012 Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:

13 Why Mobile Broadband ? -Comes in various packages depending on the person’s usability ( Affordability) -On can stay connected without being home ( Accessibility- Mobility) -Wherever there is a mobile signal or connection one can use the internet ( Availability) Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:

14 Drawback of Mobile Broadband -The speed is not as high as standard broadband connections, although this may not be the same in the future -The download/usage limits are quite restrictive and are not designed for heavy users (the highest limit is around 10GB) -The cost of additional usage is quite high -High cost of device Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:

15 Conclusion For a land-locked and mountainous country with scattered and low density population and limited market, the easiest, cheapest and easy way of providing accessibility to communications services to all its people, including broadband, is through the use of wireless technology. “ Wireless could be the technology for bridging the digital divide in Bhutan” Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:

16 Tashi Delek & Thank you Africa Asia Regulatory Conference Feb, 2012 Colombo, Sri Lanka Post Box 1072, Olakha, Babesa Express Road, Thimphu: Bhutan. URL: Tel: , FAX:


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