Afterword

ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's Time for Prepaid 3G Plans

Mobile prepaid subscribers who use their phones to access the internet have to pay exuberant fees when using their phone to surf the web, send email, or stream videos. B-Mobile, for example, charges Nu 3000 per GB for their "pay as you go" plan - the only one available to prepaid phone subscribers.

With the improvement in Bhutan Telecom's 3G services, it is now time to move on to the next logical step: offering affordable prepaid 3G plans to mobile users. Currently, 3G plans are available for postpaid data-cards only, costing between Nu 200 to Nu 300 per GB, depending on the plan. These rates should also be available to smartphone users. For many users, these 3G prepaid plans will be their gateway to the Internet, thereby helping to narrow the growing broadband gap.

P.S.: With 3G prepaid plans, many subscribers will also find that carrying a data-card becomes unnecessary, as many smartphones can be tethered to a laptop, acting as de-facto data-card. This will reduce the number of mobile devices, which can help reduce the load on the mobile networks.