CG Telecom, part of the Nepalese conglomerate Chaudhary Group, has signed an agreement with Turkcell of Turkey to assist it in launching 5G services in Nepal. The agreement was signed during the recent Nepal Investment Summit 2019 in Kathmandu.
Previously, on 27 December 2018 Justice Deepak Raj Joshee of Nepal’s Supreme Court ordered the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) to allow CG Telecom to launch its long-planned mobile service. The government agreed to give the conglomerate a mobile licence back in May 2017, but the NTA objected to the cabinet’s decision, prompting legal action.
With the NTA reluctant to supply the newcomer with the spectrum it needs to launch its mobile service, the ongoing dispute has disrupted the watchdog’s parallel attempt to stage an auction of ‘residual’ spectrum in the 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands. As the NTA mulls a separate round of spectrum auctioning in the 700MHz/2600MHz bands, speculation is that CG Telecom could win some of the latter frequencies, according to Nepalitelecom.com.
The 5G ‘in-principle’ agreement between the Nepalese mobile start-up and Turkcell is worth NPR25 billion (USD224 million) according to local press, and includes ‘technical and strategic collaboration’ to deploy an advanced network. The agreement follows an initial deal at Mobile World Congress 2019 which saw Chaudhary Group sign up to use Turkcell’s Lifecell-branded digital over-the-top (OTT) multi-services platform under the CG Lifecell banner. So far, CG has launched the ‘BiP’ OTT messaging/VoIP/video calling app supplied by Turkcell via the partnership.