The rapid advancement of wireless and mobile communication technologies have provided alternative solutions to the development of communication infrastructure, particularly in countries, like Bhutan, with rugged and mountainous terrain, sparsely distributed population and a high concentration of the population in remote rural communities; and where the need for broadband access to deliver services, such as e-learning and telemedicine, are high on their development agenda.
Bhutan, a developing country located in the high Himalayas, is therefore faced with the challenge of building communication infrastructure to provide services to the rural population, with a limited budget. But laying fiber optic cable and other wired technology will require high amounts of CAPEX and OPEX.
In this study we propose WiMAX as an access technology to reach out to the rural communities. Even though various wireless access technologies are available in the market today, our choice of WiMAX is predicated on various factors like population density, rural- urban population distribution, other demographics and the extent of the digital divide between urban and rural communities.
This study therefore adopts a two-pronged approach, first a literature review is carried out to examine the characteristic of WiMAX Access Technology, in comparison with other Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) technologies, vis-a-vis their feasible deployment in a country like Bhutan. Subsequently the study carries out a case study of South Korea, a country where WiMAX has been successfully deployed and concludes that WiMAX is the ideal wireless technology for Bhutan.
This thesis only considers the technical aspect of WiMAX deployment in Bhutan, in comparison with other BWA technologies. The economics of WiMAX deployment in Bhutan - cost analysis (CAPEX and OPEX) and Business Model - is beyond the scope of this study.