Ncell to get the technology-neutral frequency for 900 MHz and 2100 MHz band with the first-ever spectrum auction held by Nepal Telecommunication Authority. Earlier, the private telecom company had defied Nepal Telecom with the highest bid for the 1800 MHz spectrum.
At the first-ever auction held by Nepal Telecommunication Authority for spectrum, Ncell won its bid with the highest call for more frequency in 1800MHz spectrum band. It overcame Nepal Telecom and received a 9 MHz spectrum (with refarming) making it a total of 20 MHz. NTA provided an additional 5 MHz to Nepal Telecom as a winning bid price to Nepal Telecom.
Whereas no decision had been taken for the remaining bands for a long time. But NTA will now hand over frequency to Ncell in 900MHz and 2100 MHz as per its Technology Neutrality Policy, as decided earlier by the Government.
Chairperson of NTA, Purushottam Khanal said, “Ministry of communication and information technology (MoCIT) had agreed for technology neutrality over radio frequency bands to telecom operators.” He further added, “The decision to hand over the frequency to Ncell is that part of the very technology neutrality strategy of the NTA.”
The telecommunications regulator had formed a separate committee, led by NTA Director, Mr. Ambar Sthapit to negotiate the deal with Ncell. The committee went through a sustained talk with Ncell before finalizing the decision.
Additional Frequency bandwidth (900MHz, 2100MHz) for Ncell
As with the deal, Ncell will now receive a maximum of 1.6 MHz paired frequency over 900 MHz. Whereas, it will be entitled to a 5 MHz paired frequency over 2100 MHz band.
As of now, Ncell had been operating a 2G service with 8 MHz paired frequency over 900 MHz and 10 MHz paired over 2100 MHz.
With the current spectrum policy, any telecom company could only receive a maximum of 9.6 MHz over 900 MHz frequency. And it would only receive 15 MHz at 2100 MHz band. So, Ncell will now have the maximum frequency band limit in all major spectrum (900 MHz, 1800MHz, and 2100MHz).
Ncell will reportedly pay 3 crores 88 lakh and 80 thousand per MHz for the unpaired 900 MHz band. The amount is 62% higher than the base price as agreed by the telecom operator. As for the 1.6 MHz paired band, the government will collect 12 crores, 44 lakhs, and 16 thousand in frequency revenues.
Similarly, Ncell will be liable to 7 crores, 50 lakhs for unpaired 5 MHz bandwidth in 2100 MHz. Similarly, it will be paying 15 crores or 5 MHz paired bandwidth for 2100 MHz. As known, Ncell became ready to pay 20% more than the base price for this frequency fee for this 2100 MHz band.
Benefits of Technology neutral bands 900 MHz and 2100 MHz band
Receiving a Technology-neutral frequency in 900 MHz and 2100 MHz bands means that Ncell can operate any cellular technology in those bands. As known, the telecom operator will operate 4G in 900 MHz band while they may use 2100MHz for 3G currently and ultimately go for 4G/5G later.
Similarly, the additional frequency will enable the operator to provide a better cellular network to its customer. More spectrum would equate to enhanced network capacity and also result in better voice calls and internet service.
With more frequencies, Ncell subscribers will not only receive an astable network experience, but it will also translate to better battery life on their smartphones.
As mentioned earlier, Ncell was lobbying for an additional spectrum (especially 900MHz) to expand its 4G network to remote places. With new frequencies privilege, it can now further enhance its network capacities. What do you think of this news? Let us know in the comments section below.