Nepal edges closer to 4G launch

27 Sep 2016

The Frequency Management Department at the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has recommended that the regulator’s board approve applications from mobile operators Ncell and Nepal Telecom (NT) to launch 4G LTE services. According to a report from the Himalayan Times, however, an application from the country’s third unified licensee, Smart Telecom, looks set to be turned down as the operator has not been deemed to have met the necessary criteria to launch 4G services.

NTA spokesperson Min Prasad Aryal said: ‘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.’

The two operators applied some months ago for permission to use their existing spectrum holdings in the 1800MHz band for 4G technology, but the government has had to amend the existing Radio Frequency Policy to allow for technology neutrality in this band. The draft amendment has now been approved by the Ministry of Information and Communications. The cellcos will be free to begin offering LTE-based services as soon as the NTA’s board passes the recommendation, with Ncell having previously claimed that it would be ready to launch its 4G networks within two months of the approval being given.