Kathmandu, September 25
Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) — telecom sector regulator — has decided to approve the applications of Nepal Telecom (NT) and Ncell to operate 4G service in country.
The Frequency Management Department of NTA has recommended NTA’s board to approve the proposals of these two companies to introduce 4G service. However, department has rejected proposal of Smart Telecom, the third operator which had sought NTA’s nod to begin 4G service, citing Smart Telecom failed to meet certain set criteria to run 4G service.
“We have recommended the board to allow NT and Ncell to introduce 4G service in the country,” Bijay Kumar Roy, chief of NTA’s Frequency Management Department told The Himalayan Times, adding that these two operators can
introduce 4G immediately after NTA board passes the recommendation.
Roy also informed that Smart Telecom was not recommended as it didn’t meet a few eligibility criteria to operate 4G service. Eligibility of the operator to run 4G service is analysed on the basis of the operator’s current services, its clearance of dues to the government and the company’s work performance under the Unified Licence issued to it, according to Roy.
It has been many months since these telecommunication service providers sought NTA’s nod to launch 4G service. They had asked NTA to allow them to operate 4G service under ‘technology neutrality system’, which allows operators to provide 4G service under the current 1,800 MHz frequency being used to provide 3G service to customers.
However, NTA could not previously approve their proposal to provide 4G service as its approval required certain amendments in the existing Radio Frequency Policy. However, the NTA can now approve the proposals as the amended draft of Radio Frequency Policy, which has introduced 4G provisions, has already been endorsed by the Ministry of Information and Communications.
NTA Spokesperson Min Prasad Aryal said that the NTA board will provide the 4G licence to Nepal Telecom and Ncell as soon as possible. “All the policy hurdles to allow the telecom companies to operate 4G service have been addressed. NT and Ncell will soon get the ‘go-ahead’ from NTA board,” he said.
Ncell has been claiming that it can begin 4G service for customers within two months of receiving the 4G licence from NTA. Though operators can provide 4G service with the existing 3G infrastructure, they also need radio network equipment and core network equipment to run the service.
Already introduced in different nations, 4G is the fourth generation wireless telecommunication technology that delivers the fastest data service on mobile devices at present.
A version of this article appears in print on September 12, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.