By Gopal Sharma
KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepal has joined hands with China to offer internet services to its citizens, officials said on Friday, ending India's decades-long monopoly of the Himalayan nation's cyber connectivity network.
For years, Nepal depended on Indian telecom companies, such as Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications Ltd, for access to the worldwide web, which Nepali officials said made connections vulnerable to network failures.
Nepal Telecom and China Telecom Global launched their services after they wrapped up the laying of optical fiber cables between Kerung in China and Rasuwagadi in Nepal, about 50 km (30 miles) north of Kathmandu, the companies said.
"Consumers can now look forward to a reliable service."
More than 60 percent of Nepal's 28 million people had access to the internet last year, up from just 19 percent in 2012.
Both Asian giants China and India have been jostling to increase their influence in Nepal, a natural buffer separating them, by ramping up their investments in roads and hydropower projects in the impoverished country.
(Editing by Aditya Kalra and Clarence Fernandez)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)