Smart move: telco still seeking 4G licence

29 Nov 2016

Nepalese limited mobility wireless network operator Smart Telecom says it has resubmitted its application for a licence to offer 4G LTE services. The telco had previously had its application turned down as it had not met the coverage requirements with its existing 2G GSM infrastructure. A report from the Himalayan Times says that, if successful, Smart intends to use 1800MHz frequencies and build new 2G/4G towers to serve the Kathmandu Valley region. Smart does not operate a 3G network, though the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) says this would not preclude it from gaining a 4G licence.

Rival operator Nepal Telecom (NT) already has permission to launch LTE-based services from 1 January 2017, while the country’s other unified licence holder, Ncell, has submitted its own work plan and is still awaiting a decision from the regulator; it says it would be ready to launch commercial 4G networks in three cities within a month of receiving the go-ahead. Smart currently offers a GSM-based limited mobility service (LMS) which served 1.4 million customers as of June 2016; its unified licence allows it to offer a full mobile service.