State-owned Nepal Telecom (NT) has become the first of the country’s cellcos to get the go-ahead to launch a 4G LTE service. The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has approved its application and has called on the operator to submit details of its rollout plan and proposed 4G tariffs. ‘We will issue the 4G licence to the company after we have gone through the its work plan thoroughly and are satisfied with its strategy,’ NTA spokesperson Min Prasad Aryal told The Himalayan Times.
Rival mobile network operator Ncell is still awaiting approval of its own application, while the country’s only other unified licence holder, Smart Telecom, has already had its bid rejected after the NTA’s Frequency Management Department ruled that it failed to meet certain criteria with its current operations. NT is expected to launch 4G services using its existing 1800MHz spectrum holding before the end of 2016, with Kathmandu and Pokhara set to be the first areas to be covered.