Ncell has sent a letter to NTA seeking approval for its 5G testing. The country’s second-largest telco has geared up to maneuver its fifth-gen network as soon as possible.
The state-owned Nepal Telecom (NTC) has already submitted its 5G Work plan/proposal to NTA and awaits approval from the telecommunications governing body. Meanwhile, Ncell has waited long for approval from the NTA to no avail, though being ready by all means and resources.
Ncell had long accused NTA of maintaining a discriminatory attitude for shrugging off Ncell’s calls for a 5G green signal. Now, the Axiata Group-owned telco has asked for approval via a formal letter.
NTA Director Ambar Sthapit says The Radio Frequency Policy Determination Committee will review Ncell’s application before nodding to its proposal.
The concerned committee is presided by the minister of ICT as its chairman. The commission also consists of the secretaries of the Home Ministry, Defense Ministry, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, and MoICT. NTA’s Director also serves among the members of this committee.
Ncell’s 5G appeal has suffered more by the absence of the ICT minister at present. Following the government change in the county, a new ICT has not been appointed. This has hindered Ncell’s quest for 5G initiation. In a normal circumstance, the committee would give Ncell the green signal after it submitted a work plan.
Ncell’s Road To 5G
When Ncell receives it, it would have to comply with the framework etched in Procedure for Testing New Technology 2078 which also includes testing 5G.
As per the 5G testing procedure, Ncell will also require to turn in details of its first phase testing sites, timeframe for infrastructure setup, and etc. to NTA.
Just like in India, there is a similar provision in Nepal that the 5G technology will have to cover both rural and urban settings and Ncell must ensure it adheres to this condition. NTA will only grant its approval for a careful study of all these details. Following this, Ncell will be free to proceed with 5G gears procurement and set up which shall be complete within 3 months.
NTA meanwhile will need to allocate Ncell with the spectrum and afford one complete year for 5G testing. Throughout this period, Ncell would not charge its customers for a 5G connection, as with NTC.
NTC’s 5G seems to be arriving within 3 months after the approval and now Ncell is determined to join the race. It is for certain that the fifth-gen network is going to dominate the headlines in the coming months in Nepal.
Are you excited by the nearing arrival of the 5G network in Nepal? Or do you have a differing opinion about the need for ultra-fast mobile broadband? Do share with us your input in the comments.