Nepal Telecom, the leading telecom operator of Nepal has been testing VoLTE service for a while. Now, Nepal Telecom has called for a tender for the supply of GSM featured phones with VoLTE support. After which, they shall sell the same 4G handsets to customers at an affordable rate. So, it is all about improving the penetration of 4G (VoLTE) supporting phones in Nepal.
With the current 4G network in place, 2G, 3G networks still handle the voice calls from 4G mode. Whereas with the upcoming VoLTE service, voices are made directly with 4G LTE network. On top of that, you can use advanced features like HD calling.
With the VoLTE launching, Nepal Telecom intends to increase the 4G network utilization. As the end user device could be one of the barrier for this commercialization, the telecom operator seeks to increase the market penetration of VoLTE with such tender.
Any eligible bidders that manufacturers such VoLTE supporting featured phones can participate in the tender by contacting Nepal Telecom. Tender was first announced on Jan 3, 2021 and will close on Feb 17, 2021.
For a developing country like Nepal, there are large no of people who do not opt for smartphones due to the affordability. Else they buy cheaper feature phones which also has got a significant market in Nepal. Ntc wants to provide a better option for those people by offering an affordable feature phone that supports 4G capabilities including VoLTE. Other feature could include support for popular applications, faster/light OS, mediocre camera etc.
This initiative is similar to what Jio did in India for penetrating 4G supporting handsets. Using this method, they could improve the optimum utilization of their 4G network. Being a greenfield operator, Jio had the compulsion to penetrate such compatible devices in the market for the customers. Furthermore, Jio wants to manufacture affordable 4G/5G phones on its own, by partnering with Google and others.