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B-Mobile in Bhutan
The launching of B-Mobile will enhance the people's access to information and have far reaching impact on rural development and good governance. The first phase of the B-Mobile project covers Thimphu, Paro, Chukha, Gedu and Phuentsholing area. The project was completed with grant assistance from the government of India.

A total of 13 base stations - five in Thimphu, two in Paro, one in Phuentsholing and five along the Thimphu - Phuentsholing highway ensures connectivity along the road.

The prime minister, Lyonpo Jigmi Y Thinley, the trade and industries minister, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba, and the Indian ambassador to Bhutan, Mr. K S Jasrotia, spoke to each other on mobile telephones on November 11, 2004 inaugurating the cellular mobile telephone system in Bhutan.
Coinciding with the 48th birthday celebrations of His Majesty the King on November 11, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba launched the new telecommunication service in Thimphu at a function attended by cabinet ministers and dignitaries from various international organisations.

Describing the mobile service as a "much awaited and a landmark development" the trade and industries minister said that "the giant leap forward in telecommunication development will spur social and economic development". Ambassador Jasrotia described the project as "yet another milestone" in Indo-Bhutan friendship.

B-Mobile in Bumthang

Bumthang became the latest dzongkhag to be connected to B-Mobile cellular service when the Bjakar town was linked to the service yesterday. B- mobile's project Manager in Bumthang, Sonam Dorji said that the service would cover the Bjakar town only. He said that Chumey gewog would be connected next year while Ura will have to wait for stable power supply to use the facility.

Meanwhile, there is excitement in Bjakar with residents trying to use the cell phone. Some bought the phone in June when there was word that Bumthang would connect to the network that month.

"I can go any where instead of waiting in my office after office working hours to receive calls," said Yonten, a civil servant. He said that the service would be of great use to government officials, shopkeepers and the farmers.

Shops selling mobile phones are also doing a brisk business selling six to eight mobile phones a day.

Contributed by KUENSEL, Bhutan's National Newspaper, 2006


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