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While Nepal still awaits for 4G service, an upcoming 4G only operator in India named as Reliance Jio (the telecom leg of Mukesh Ambhani owned Reliance Industries limited, RIL) has extended its preview offer to several other smartphones in all over India. The preview offer (only for their LYF phones and selected partnered smartphones) enables customers to enjoy unlimited HD voice, Video calls, SMS, High speed data and access to their apps. Earlier the unlimited preview offer was only available for their own smartphone brand LYF and now extends to Panasonic, Samsung, ASUS, Lenovo, Xiaomi and LG. The pan India 4G operator is yet to commercially launch their service and as a part of their testing, they claim to bring the offer valid for 90 days.
The free data and calls (VoLTE calls in 4G) are getting more popular among the subscribers, which is a big problem to the incumbent operators like Airtel, Idea, Vodafone. It is also known that the data traffic generated by Reliance Jio is near to the data as a whole generated by all other operators. So the COAI (Cellular operators Association of India) which includes all incumbent operators, has filed an complaint to the regulator TRAI and the PM’s office regarding the full commercial launch (despite naming beta trails) and evading millions of rupees as a revenue share to the government while they are earning large sum from the sale of their LYF smartphones. Reliance Jio however rejected the accusations of COAI and claim the COAI to be working in interest of some incumbent operators against Jio. Jio also alleged the incumbent operators to violate the licensing conditions by restricting interconnection and number portability. Interconnection is required between the operators to make a call from one to another and Number portability enables a subscriber to keep their mobile number even if they change the operators.
Apart from LYF and selected phones for preview, Jio offers JioFi (WiFi device with 4G SIM) box at 2,899 IRs that provides high speed data with the device and Jio SIM.
Reliance jio has also asked its 40k plus employees to switch to its own Jio 4G network, using the existing mobile numbers from number portability that takes around 7 days to port over to another operator. Though it has already attracted more than 1.5 million of users for the large scale tests, it is not known when can they expect the commercial launch of Jio 4G there. Most probably it will happen after the ending of the 90 days 3 months offer from the first release date. Reliance Jio is the first operator to have pan India 4G license and holds spectrum in 1800 MHz (band 3) and 2300 MHz among which 2300 TDD is for pan India.
Although there has been some significant developments in Nepal for 4G, the awarding of 4G license through technology neutrality has still not taken place. So it is not exactly clear when 4G service gets available here in Nepal. It is known that Nepal Telecom and Ncell have already upgraded their network for 4G and applied for the license to the regulator.
We will update you of the latest 4G news in Nepal. So Keep in tuned.