From dial-up to FTTH, WorldLink’s 25 glorious years

KATHMANDU: WorldLink, Nepal’s largest internet service provider and the third largest telecommunications company, has marked its 25th anniversary with a high note.

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, WorldLink is expanding its wi-fi service across the country. Under its corporate social responsibility, the company has been offering free wi-fi to the public in 10,000 locations throughout the country. The company established its public wi-fi service about a year and a half back targeting those people who had never installed internet services at home.

Today,there are 151,000 people using the public wi-fiservice everyday, according to the company.

On the occasion of its silver jubilee, the company has also announced its decision to issue shares to the public. Speaking during a virtual press conference to mark this milestone, Dileep Agrawal, chairman of the company, informed about the plans to issue shares to the public in the next three years.

At a time when making profit through public wi-fi service is gaining ground around the world, WorldLink is providing free wi-fi service in Nepal with an aim to provide service to those internet users who still do not have the ability to buy and use high-speed fixed broadband service.Many internet users in Nepal use mobile data. However, due to the high cost of data, they are forced to turn off the data and use it sparingly.As a result, they are less likely to enjoy the internet.
With the company’s free service, the users are able to use the internet for free for about an hour after logging in once. One can again login and use the internet. It has been providing free wi-fi in places where there are large crowds of people like temples, hospitals, bus parks, cafes and restaurants.For this, a minimum connection fee has been charged from cafes and restaurants but there is no charge for the user.

Two Decades in Making
The company that started with a computer and email server brought from the United States has emerged as an exemplary internet service provider in the country.

Starting from an email system in 1995, WorldLink has travelled through a 25-year journey from dial-up to fiber to the home. And over the years it has succeeded to play a significant role in Nepal’s internet accessibility. The latest statistics of Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA)reveals that WorldLink contributes 43 percent of internet access in the country.

WorldLink that initiated its email service in 1995 had launched its dial-up internet service in 1997 in the country. After two years, the service was expanded outside Kathmandu. The company also launched VSAT for international bandwidth from there.
A year later in 2000, it launched a wireless broadband internet service. It partnered with Akamai to set up a content cache for the first time in Nepal in 2001. With this, the company expanded the internet service to major cities across the country through the VSAT network.

In 2003, it launched cable internet service. Three years later, it announced the expansion of the service in major cities of the country through wireless technology. The company, which is now working to expand the internet nationwide, installed cross-border fiber for international bandwidth in 2008.

In 2010, it partnered with Google for a local server in the country. The agreement played another important role in making the customer’s internet experience more effective. In order to make the internet experience more effective, the company launched 10 Mbps internet for the first time in Nepal in 2012.

Again, after two years, it launched Fiber to the Home (FTTA) Internet. According to the NTA’s data, till mid-July, there were more than 373,000 fiber users of WorldLink at present.

In 2016,it partnered with Facebook for content cache. In the same year, it also launched IP TV service for the first time in Nepal. Today, there are more than 184,000 users of the IP TV service in the country.

With the expansion of the service, the company also brought SafeNet service into operation to prevent online abuse of children for the safety of the customers. It also launched IPv6 for the first time in Nepal in 2018. The same year, it launched a free public wi-fi service.

Similarly, it is providing internet service in 73 districts of the country which includes even remote areas like Karnali under a project initiated by the Rural Telecommunications Development Fund under Nepal Telecommunications Authority.

The company, which has been expanding various services at different times, is directly providing employment to around 4,000 people.

It has also managed to attract foreign investment last year. The company has attracted foreign investment through CDC. The company has been honored as the highest taxpayer in the field of information and communication technology. It has also received the National ICT Award from the government of Nepal.

Fiscal Nepal |
Wednesday September 16, 2020, 11:57:10 AM |

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