Radio Frequency Policy Determination Committee has decided to provide 5MHz additional frequency bandwidth in 1800 MHz band to Nepal Telecom. Earlier, the telecom operator had been lobbying for the same spectrum.
The committee under the Ministry of Communication and Information technology (MoCIT) is also headed by the Minister himself. Whereas other members are the secretary from the Home Ministry, Defense Ministry, Tourism Ministry, and MoCIT.
Nepal Telecom currently holds 15 MHz bandwidth in the 1800 MHz. After the addition of 5 MHz, the total frequency bandwidth becomes 20 MHz, which is the upper ceiling for any operator to hold in that spectrum band as per frequency policy. Similarly, Ncell already holds the 20 MHz that they could get from spectrum auction.
As per the decision, Nepal Telecom also has to pay the same 5 crores and 80 lakhs per MHz frequency, if the company want to get that chunk of the frequency band. Whereas the company was lobbying to get the spectrum at their own bidding price. But Nepal Telecommunication Authority recommended the price of the frequency in this band to be the same as that of Ncell’s highest bid price.
It seems NTA will also provide the contiguous bandwidth to Nepal Telecom as there is 5 MHz bandwidth remaining in between Nepal Telecom and Ncell. The telecom operators always demand the continuous frequency bandwidth for efficient and optimum use of the Spectrum. So, we can expect Nepal Telecom to improve its network capacity and quality with this continuous spectrum.
After the allocation of 5 MHz to Nepal Telecom, there will be only 2 MHz remaining out of the 75 Mhz in 1800MHz band. Similarly, NTA tried to sell the remaining bandwidth in spectrum bands like 900 MHz and 2100 Mhz to make some revenue out of the free airwaves. We believe NTA will look after those and probably new bands after the completion of the allocation in the 1800 MHz spectrum.
1800 MHz spectrum is being used by all the telecom operators for their 2G and 4G networks. It is also considered one of the very lucrative bands for the telecom operators due to its wide availability and compatibility.
With both the largest telecom operators getting 20 MHz of frequency bandwidth in that band, we can expect them to compete fiercely for the network speed and the bigger capacity. We all know, the larger the frequency bandwidth for a telecom operator, the higher will be the capacity and the data speed from the mobile network.