Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) is launching a feasibility study of 4G cellular technology in the country, online journal MyRepublica.com reports. ‘We are at the preliminary stage of the study and our team is currently studying from the experience of other countries that have introduced this technology,’ NTA chairperson Bhesh Raj Kanel is quoted as saying. The watchdog’s findings will be passed to the Radio Frequency Policy Determination Committee (RFPDC) of the NTA, which will then take the ‘necessary action on the basis of findings’.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database in March 2011 the NTA said it was considering plans to use the digital dividend – the Very High Frequency (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) bands that would be freed up in the switchover from analogue to digital television – for the operation of 4G mobile services in the mountain Kingdom. At the time, NTA director Ananda Raj Khanal said that to this end, the Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC) had set up a committee to study the plan, and to make suitable recommendations to the government based on international best practice. Local operator Ncell has applied for 4G spectrum in the 700MHz-2600MHz frequency band, while Nepal Telecom (NT) has also hinted that it would be interested in offering the service in the future. Meanwhile, the NTA has reportedly informed the RFDPC of its recommendations on WiMAX wireless broadband services and spectrum management. The authority is preparing to introduce WiMAX after the committee takes its decision on how best to allocate frequencies for the service.