Learn about NTC’s progress of the 5G network testing and recent updates on Ncell.
It’s been over a month since NTC, received approval by NTA for the 5G trails. The state-owned operator will run switch on its 5G on mid-band frequency but has not been firm on when. Meanwhile, Ncell, the private operator, is still waiting for the nod by the regulator. At this, the mobile users and the enthusiasts are curious about the state of 5G in Nepal.
Here in this post, we will assess some recent developments regarding the fifth-generation network progress in Nepal.
NTC is Talks with Gear Vendors for 5G
NTC starts to begin its 5G project. The carrier’s acting MD offered updates on the company’s recent progress on it to the Development Committee of the HoR.
Vaidya said that the company has formed a committee for 5G testing. She also added that the company has concluded the discussion with gear vendors for 5G equipment as per the Procedure for Testing New Technology, including 5G, 2078.
NTC had submitted its 5G work plan to the regulator NTA back in June. On November 23rd of last year, the regulator approved its proposal and allocated frequency for the testing.
NTA has allocated a 2600 MHz frequency band to NTC in which, the latter will turn on its 5G using 60 MHz spectrum. The 2.6 GHz band falls under mid-band and is the most popular category for operators across the world.
NTC will employ the band for free for a year, and its customers will also surf the net-gen broadband for free throughout the testing.
NTC, for now, has no impediments for its next-gen network launch, and if everything proceeds uninterrupted; we should have 5G by the end of the current FY 078/79.
Ncell Waits on for a Response
On the other hand, private operator Ncell’s 5G launch remains elusive despite its own ambition.
On September 2 last year, the Axiata owned company wrote to NTA seeking approval for its 5G network trials. The regulator said the Radio Frequency Policy Determination Committee would review Ncell’s 5G plan then it could act further. But, after 4 months, there is no response from NTA.
The MoCIT has also found a new team to lead telecommunication in the country. But the current incumbent Gyanendra Bahadur Karki has not been able to preside over a meeting which has further derailed Ncell’s 5G project.
Sub-Committee says, “Not Within Our Authority”
Meanwhile, a sub-committee (frequency determination) meeting has taken place. But it has been concluded that approving Ncell’s proposal for 5G doesn’t lie within the authority of its superior committee.
The state-owned operator NTC received its approval under the former Minister for CIT Parbat Gurung. With a regime change, the authorities seem to have taken a new stance regarding 5G approval.
The sub-committee will sit for another meeting this week. It could hand over the authority to NTA to decide on Ncell’s 5G plans.
On the other hand, Smart Cell, Nepal’s third and the only next telecom operator has not yet expressed its desire for a 5G upgrade yet. The company provides telecom services on 2G and 4G networks.
These are the most recent 5G updates in Nepal. When we find more, we will keep this post updated for our readers.