Bhutan ICT summit in Thimphu

DHI Chairperson Om Pradhan at the event
DHI Chairperson Om Pradhan at the event

BTL also launched its B-Wallet services at the event

Delegates from the various organizations international organizations and high officials attended the Bhutan ICT (Information Communication and Technology) summit on 28 June  where the Bhutan Telecom (BTL) officially launched its B-Wallet services coinciding with its 50-year anniversary of the company.

The Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) Chairman and Chairperson of the event, Lyonpo Om Pradhan made a keynote address at the event.

“The event is designed to provide an in depth information on key technologies and essential strategies required for making organizations productive and efficient. The forum is for those at the forefront of the telecom and Information Technology market to converge and address the fundamental challenges in this emerging market,” he said.

He addressed the crowd on the impressive accomplishments customized by the BTL within a short duration of five years.

“Bhutan Telecom have been a new leader in adopting new technology, and is one of the first country to launch 3G services in South Asian region, and will be launching 4G service this year,” he said.

Speaking at the event on the ICT vision of Bhutan, the Secretary of Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC), Dasho Kinley Dorji expressed only ICT can enable knowledge based society.

He said in the effort to create an intelligent society one should keep learning and the information society talks about convergence of ICT, media and arts. “ICT is not about technology, it’s about people, about changing the way we do things,” he added.

The B-Wallet service was launched in partnership with Bank of Bhutan Ltd. (BoBL). The general manager of BTL said, “The B-Wallet service offers a wide range of options to our prepaid customers to recharge their accounts-moving away from the conventional paper vouchers to electronic recharge and the it will be a green move minimizing the use of paper voucher preserving our pristine environment to the enhancement of Gross National Happiness.”

The general manager also spoke on the future possibilities of the M-Wallet or M-commerce as an alternative method of payment as consumers can avail wide range of services like, self-top for prepaid mobile, fund transfer, various types of post-paid bill payments, music, videos, ringtones, online games and other digital goods, magazines, tickets, and other hard goods.

“Mobile banking, mobile health and mobile broadband are services that are yet to be introduced in the country,” he added.

Presentations were made and discussions held made on the topics of ‘Successful technologies/applications in Bhutan/south Asia, ICT solutions for enterprise through Telecom Operators, Broadband technologies and social objectives for a hill country like Bhutan, Managed services and project management challenges.’

Representatives from BTL, Robi Axiata, Ericson, D-Link, Gemalto and Aviat Network made presentations during the event.

At the end of 2012, the country’s mobile penetration is projected at 78% and internet subscriber rate at 19%. The number of households owning mobile phones stands at 94% as of now.

Thukten Zangpo/ Thimphu

 

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