NTA, the regulator body is known to have decided for the approval of Nepal Telecom and Ncell applications for operating 4G in the country. It has been around two months that major three operators namely Nepal Telecom, Ncell and Smart Telecom had applied for the 4G service, but the frequency management department of NTA has only approved the proposal of Nepal Telecom and Ncell as Smart Telecom’s proposal could not meet the criteria ( Some dues left or their performance for unified license). According to The Himalayan times daily, the frequency management has recommended to approve for the introduction of 4G through technology neutrality and the two operators can build and commercialize 4G network after passed by NTA board.
Earlier, Nepal Telecom and Ncell had submitted an application to NTA for the permission to operate 4G technology. As government has decided to let the telcos operate 4G in existing frequency bands by changing the provision in Frequency policy 2073, the two big operators have applied for the same. They have asked the regulator to operate 4G in existing 1800 MHz band which is now being used for 2G GSM technology. The frequency policy 2073 has made a provision for the technology neutrality which lets the operator to implement any technology in existing frequency bands.
Both the operators had even asked NTA to provide additional bandwidth in 1800 MHz frequency band. Currently Nepal Telecom owns 15 MHz bandwidth (uplink and downlink duplex) whereas Ncell holds 11 MHz (duplex) frequency bandwidth in the same 1800 MHz, all used for 2G technology. But it is not known whether additional bandwidth will be provided to these operators for 4G in 1800 MHz.
Citing the NTA spokesperson, THT also mentions that all policy hurdles for the 4G service have been addressed and they can operate 4G with the existing infrastructures after getting nod from NTA board. Both the operators were readying their network for 4G which according to them, would not take more than software upgrade and very little of hardware upgrade which was said to complete in 2 months time. As some period has already passed, 4G can be expected to come earlier than that.
We (Nepalitelecom) have been continuously updating the news regarding the await of 4G in Nepal which was in limbo for sometime due to change in the government and scrutiny of the application from the operators. Let’s see now, When will the 4G license be awarded to the two operators. Stay tuned.