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Tibet's Metok enters the optical network era
update:October 25,2016
Oct. 25, 2016 -- In recent years, Tibet Branch of China Mobile has poured 0.1 billion yuan (162.4 million U.S. dollars) into Metok County of Nyingchi, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, aiming to strengthen the construction of basic Internet and promote the widely use of broadband. As Metok County that is called the  "lonely island in Tibet" enters the optical network era, Metok will connect with the outside world more frequently and conveniently.
Metok, located on the south foot of the Himalayas, is the last county having access to road and optical cable in China.
“With a large area of forests, Metok boasts rich rainfall all year round. Besides, Metok is a mountainous region. All these are reasons for why it is difficult to set up telecommunication and Internet here,” Said Ngawang, manager of Metok branch of China Mobile. About four-ton telecommunication machines are loaded by horses and human. Workers of China Telecommunication climbed mountains, went through rarely-populated areas and even lived outside at times. After two months, Metok's first mobile base station was put into service in 2014, ending the history of using only one landline phone and one satellite phone for communicating with outside world.
On October 31 of 2013, the first 3G base station was built in Metok.  After that, local farmers and herdsmen could have access to the Internet. The year of 2014 saw Metok's first optic cable of China Mobile that was set up.
Until now, the length of optical cable reaches 176 sheet km in Metok. Besides, 25 2G base stations have already covered all towns of Metok.
In recent years, China Mobile builds base stations, installs optical cables and promotes the widely use of broadband. All towns in Metok have access to GSM Internet. By the end of 2015, Metok County realized full coverage of broadband.
Since Deshing Village of Metok had access to the optical broadband in 2015, the broadband map now includes a half of over 70 households in Deshing Village, promoting the rapid development of local tourism.
Thanks to the integration of Internet with tourism, catering industry, husbandry and other traditional industries, there are more chances to develop the local economy.
By: Zhu Shan
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