Poor connectivity hampers businesses from using mobile banking app in Dagana’s Sunkosh town

At a time when Thimphu and other urban centres enjoy the 5th generation mobile network or 5G, several rural pockets of the country are still without reliable Internet connectivity. In Dagana’s Sunkosh town, people and businesses are not using mobile banking applications due to poor network coverage. The town residents say both Bhutan Telecom and TashiCell networks are not reliable.

People in Sunkosh town have been living with poor mobile networks and Internet connectivity for a long time now. The residents, mostly shopkeepers and restaurant owners say having a reliable mobile network is crucial in keeping their business afloat.

“Customers cannot avail mobile banking services such as mBOB as both Bhutan Telecom and TashiCell as poor connectivity. As a result, we cannot sell our goods when cashless payment does not work,” said Darjay Wangdi, a resident.

“Some customers make payments using mBOB for Doma, which costs twenty ngultrum. But I do not entertain mBOB since it doesn’t work most of the time,” said Gyem, a shopkeeper.

“It is very difficult to connect phone calls due to poor mobile networks. Callers from the other side feel that we are not responding to their calls on time. But in reality, it is very difficult with the poor network,” said Tshering Pema, another shopkeeper.

“It is a problem for both customers and restaurant owners, especially when the mBOB facility does not work after taking meals. As a result, not many choose to visit our restaurants since these days many people use mBOB for payment,” said Pema, a restaurateur.

The town’s landscape is to be blamed for the poor mobile network. The Bhutan Telecom office in Tsirang looks after the town’s connectivity and the office is aware of the problem.

An official from the office in Tsirang said a site has been identified to install a mobile tower. Once the tower installation works are complete, people residing in Changchey, and Serutar along the Tsirang-Wangdue highway will also enjoy a reliable mobile network apart from Sunkosh Town.

Meanwhile, an official from TashiCell said there is no network issue in Sunkosh Town. The official added TashiCell has a mobile tower in Tsangkha gewog.

However, the official said TashiCell will rectify if there are any network congestion issues.

Pema Tshewang, Tsirang

Edited by Sherub Dorji

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