Nepal Telecom (NTC) has been expanding its 4G LTE network all over Nepal since October 2019. Although there was a slowdown in the expansion efforts due to Covid-19 for two years, 4G coverage has surpassed 98 percent at local levels, covering all 77 districts with over 4000 4G towers. As per the latest info revealed by the company, Nepal Telecom 4G has reached 739 local bodies around the country. Find more information about Ntc 4G coverage, speed, features, and offers.
Out of the 753 local levels, Nepal Telecom 4G signal is now available in 739 local bodies which are 98 percent with only 14 remaining away from its high-speed broadband benefits. The telco has taken been very active in 4G expansion in recent years and 2078 was seen as a major achievement for the company for taking its fourth-generation network to remote areas across Nepal.
As the telco continues rolling out 4G to more areas and subscribers are also on the rise, it aims to be the number one 4G service provider in the country by coverage, subscription, and quality.
Table of contents
First 4G launch and expansion
Nepal Telecom (Ntc) started 4G service back in 2017 from Kathmandu and Pokhara only, being the first telecom service provider to launch 4G in Nepal. With a new 4G project deal inked in February 2019, Nepal Telecom imported the telecom equipment, build the required infrastructure, and expanded 4G coverage to more areas. During the soft launch of 4G outside Kathmandu, its coverage was made available to 36 districts. The then prime minister KP Oli inaugurated 4G officially on October 3, 2019 (Ashoj, 16, 2076).
Within 3 months of the new 4G expansion project, the company brought over 1000 base stations live in 60+ districts. The NTC 4G project has a capacity of 65 lakh subscribers and it cost Rs 19 billion which makes it one of the company’s largest projects to date.
Currently, they have already on-aired over 4000 4G physical sites, which is over 96 percent of the total project. Similarly, they have on-aired over 450 new 4G sites. NT shared the data on its 18th-anniversary program in Kathmandu on Magh 22, 2078.
There are around 4000 locations where Ntc has planned to operate the 4G network. The work so far is 93% completed. Now it targets the completion of the 4G Project within the FY 2080/81 and switch on its 5G.
The COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown and other issues slowed down the 4G roll-out. However, now the expansion is going smoothly despite the difficult terrain, adverse weather, and other circumstances.
Rise in 4G customers
With the expansion of the 4G network to more area, a huge population has been using Nepal Telecom 4G network. Ntc 4G subscription has now crossed 1.33 crore (13.3 million) as per latest data 2024.
Nepal Telecom 4G is getting popular among people, which is also possible due to the network expansion to more parts of the country and their marketing efforts for 4G.
Check out: 4G users in Nepal | Ntc, Ncell
Nepal Telecom has been using two different spectrum bands for the 4G LTE network which are 1800 MHz and 800 MHz. We suggest you check for the support of these bands if you want to use Ntc 4G in all locations. We had already posted an article about it and more for the things to check before buying a 4G phone in Nepal.
The 800 MHz spectrum having a higher coverage is preferred for remote locations where the number of 4G base stations is limited. So, if your phone supports this band, you will get a better signal even if you go to a remote area. As 1800MHz serves you well in built-up areas, it should not be an issue in outdoor city areas. But two bands provide better signal reception indoors and a higher speed with the carrier aggregation feature.
Ntc 4G speed
As demonstrated during the 4G launch event back in October, Nepal Telecom’s 4G speed went up to 234 Mbps download and 24 Mbps uplink. Nepal Telecom claims it to be 4.5G technology with such a gigantic peak speed. We should not be confused here as all the customers served by a tower will share that connection. So, a customer gets around 20 – 50 Mbps average speed for download depending on the condition as shared with us by several users.
The features of the 4G network of Nepal Telecom are:
- Higher data rate speed: As mentioned above, Ntc 4G can provide a peak download speed of more than 200 Mbps but a customer gets around 20 Mbps on average. This data speed is higher than that of the average 3G speed where the peak throughput is around 21 Mbps. With such speed, you can enjoy buffering free fast high-quality video streaming and large file downloads.
- VoLTE: Advanced voice calling feature through the Ntc 4G provides voice through packet data which is of better quality than the traditional voice. Ntc commercially launched the VoLTE service on Magh 22, 2078.
- Two frequency Carrier aggregation (on supported bands). As Ntc has two separate bands (1800 and 800 MHz) for the 4G network, they can aggregate data from both bands for those handsets which support both bands. With this feature, the data stream comes from both bands so that speed is increased significantly. This feature is already operational in Ntc 4G network. You can see the 4G+ icon when Carrier aggregation is enabled.
- Multiple antennas: Ntc 4G network can support up to 4 antennas for the areas where there is a higher number of customers using data service. This will also increase the peak throughput of a tower and the average speed for those customers with supporting handsets.
Nepal Telecom now provides 4G coverage to all 77 districts. After the operation of Simikot tower (the district headquarters of Humla district), the Ntc 4G signal reached all districts. Earlier the 4G network coverage was focused on major cities and areas in the Hilly and Terai areas. But now Ntc has expanded 4G to remote hilly and mountainous areas like the Rara, Mustang, Jumla, Bajhang, and many more.
As per their plan, they are going further into the mountainous region which needs an airlift to deliver the equipment. Further, there are areas where Ntc is working to bring 4G in which new tower installation is going on.
Having said that the coverage is available in all 77 districts, but it does not mean Ntc 4G service is available in all parts of the country. For some remote districts, it may be limited to just district headquarter or major administration areas. We can expect every nook and corner of the country will have the praiseworthy 4G service soon.
It is due to this 4G coverage expansion, people are able to attend online meetings, and online classes, and work from home, even from distant locations. Now Nepal Telecom has also made the Happy learning pack available for all, which you can purchase without any registration.
As Ntc provides 4G in two spectrum bands, namely 1800 MHz and 800 MHz, we suggest you buy a compatible handset that supports both bands. This is a mandatory thing when you require a 4G connection even when you reach remote areas.
1800 MHz band compatible 4G handset is mostly available whereas there are chances your current 4G phone may not support 800 MHz bands. So, when you reach an area with just an 800 MHz band tower, then your handset does not show any Ntc 4G signal. NTC has already requested the regulator NTA to make it mandatory to import compatible phones only.
If the current 4G area does not have any 2G, or 3G towers, you were not able to make calls there. But now with the launch of VoLTE, you can easily make calls from 4G itself. All you need to make sure of is that your current phone supports Ntc VoLTE. If not, find the reasons why VoLTE is not working.
For the best 4G usage and to originate/receive a voice call, Ntc recommends you put your phone in 4G preferred or automatic mode. Find Ntc recommendation for 4G handset and mode.
If you have not activated 4G on your Ntc Sim, you can do it by dialing *444#. The requirement from a SIM side is you need to have a 4G compatible SIM which is called U-SIM. You also need to have a 4G handset with a preferred mode to use the 4G service. Read more on how to activate 4G in Ntc.
Now, you can get the 4G SIM for your number from any Ntc counter for free. Similarly, you can get the 4G data bonus when you activate 4G on your SIM for the first time.
The first 4G activation offer is 1GB (500 MB data for all networks + 500 MB for 4G network) to use within 2 days. There are specific 4G offers where you can get 100% additional data volume. Find the Ntc 4G data packs.
Nepal Telecom becomes the first telecom company to provide 4G in all 77 districts be it in the headquarters only for some remote districts. Whereas Ncell, another largest telecom operator has 4G coverage in 550 local levels as per the latest data.
Tell us what you think of Ntc 4G coverage in your area, or are you waiting for Ntc 4G if you have not got it yet, do leave a comment below.
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