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Chaudhary Group’s CG Telecom has moved ahead to launch 4G service in the country. They have signed a deal worth about $100 million with China’s Telecommunication Giant Huawei Technologies. Before they had already announced their partnership with Turkcell’s subsidiary LifeCell for digital and telecom services.
As per CG Chairman Mr. Binod Chaudhary, they want to revolutionize Nepal’s Telecom market, in the same way as Reliance Jio did in India. They have an investment plan of $250 million investment in their upcoming 4G network.
Comparing their strategy to that of Reliance Jio in India means providing free voice services and emphasize data and more digital services like online payment, more. They want to grab a bigger user base with such amazing offers. CG has already launched an OTT messaging app called Bip to promote the usage of digital services in Nepal.
Chaudhary Group is popular for being the largest noodle (WaiWai) manufacturer from its Origin Nepal, later to India and now across Asia. They also own a bank, electrical/electronic equipment brand, entertainment business, telecommunications business, and some hotels/resorts.
Mr. Binod Chaudhary, the richest person in Nepal, the only billionaire, has also set up noddles manufacturing factories in India, Serbia, and Bangladesh.
At first, CG will use Huawei’s equipment of $100 million for high-speed 4G service. Since they have already announced to launch 5G service in the country, they will upgrade that equipment for 5G.
Huawei is the major telecom equipment provider in the country. They have major equipment share for the state-owned telecom company, Nepal Telecom and Private Telecom operator Ncell. They also have some equipment in the Smart Telecom. Considering the current scenario and the upcoming projects, Huawei has a bigger foot in Nepali Telecom market.
Some of the Governments including the US have a big security concern with the use of Huawei’s equipment. They are skeptical of the data collected to be used for eavesdropping/spying. Although Huawei is one of the largest telecom equipment vendor and has a good position in 5G deals, they are barred from participating in some of the 5G contracts in some countries. Huawei has been denying the allegations for the security breach.
CG had already announced their deal with LifeCell for the technical and design service. Now, after the new deal, Huawei will provide the infrastructure needed for the telecom services. According to Reuters, Mr. Chaudhary says he does not hesitate to partner with Chinese companies for infrastructure development. Further, he shares his plan to set up a joint venture with a Chinese manufacturer for Cement industry.
CG currently provides the limited rural telecom services in the country while they have announced to launch 4G in the year 2019. But their request for the unified license (to provide all telecom services in the country) had been put on hold for a long time.
Nepal currently has six telecom companies with three of them having significant coverage and user base. Nepal Telecom stands the first, Ncell stands the second while Smart Telecom is the third largest telecom company in the country.
CG Telecom also targets to get one-third of the user base with 4G service which can happen only after getting the license and frequency spectrum from NTA.