'More than 50 per cent smartphones compatible with 4G'

Kathmandu, November 18

As telecom operators are on the verge of introducing 4G service soon, domestic mobile phone traders have said that over 50 per cent of smartphones available in the domestic market are 4G compatible.

According to them, a majority of recent smartphones of different brands available in Nepal’s market supports 4G service. Smartphones account for more than 60 per cent of the country’s mobile phone market, they say.

“Most of the smartphones that have been recently introduced in domestic market are 4G enabled and allow users to avail the service. Tentatively, more than 50 per cent smartphones available in the market supports 4G,” said Purshottam Basnet, chairman of Mobile Traders Association of Nepal, adding 4G service can be used in mid-range smartphones and above.

Among others, popular brand Samsung claims that all its smartphones in the Nepali market, from entry-level smartphones to flagship devices, are 4G supportive. “Entry-level smartphones from Samsung start from a price of Rs 12,000 and all other Samsung smartphones above this range are compatible with 4G,” Pranaya Ratna Sthapit, HHP Division head of Samsung Nepal, said.

In case of Nepali mobile brand Colors, only Elite E20 and Pearl Black K3, among other Colors handsets support 4G.

The 4G service is taken as a milestone in telecommunication service, especially in growing mobile phone markets like Nepal. According to traders, more than 100,000 smartphones and 200,000 bar phones are sold in the domestic market every month.

Two telecom operators in Nepal — Nepal Telecom (NT) and Ncell — are on the verge of introducing 4G service in the country. While NT has already received the licence from telecommunication sector regulator, Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), government is yet to give a green signal to 4G rollout plan submitted by Ncell.

NT will begin 4G service from January 1, 2017, from Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara, while Ncell has proposed to roll out its 4G service from Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara and Damauli.

“NT is all ready to launch the 4G service from the time given by NTA,” Kamini Rajbhandari, managing director of NT, said.

NT will roll out its 4G service on 1,800 MHz frequency band, which is currently being used for 3G service.