NTA to refarm 900MHz spectrum

5 Jul 2021

Nepal’s National Telecommunications Authority (NTA) is planning to refarm the 900MHz spectrum band to facilitate the switch to 4G services, reports Nepalitelecom.com. The regulator is said to have set up a committee to lead the initiative and coordinate with telecom operators.

Nepal Telecom (NT), Ncell and Smart Telecom currently use the 900MHz band for their 2G networks, while the inactive wireline providers Nepal Satellite Telecom (NST) and United Telecom Limited (UTL) have also occupied frequencies in the band. Having recently designated 900MHz as a technology neutral band for use by 2G, 3G and 4G networks, the NTA is now examining plans to allocate each operator a single contiguous block of frequency in the band, significantly increasing the amount of spectrum available for the country’s expanding 4G networks and future 5G services.

TeleGeography notes that Ncell, the country’s second largest mobile network operator (MNO), was assigned 2×1.6MHz of residual 900MHz spectrum in June on a technology neutral basis. The company reportedly agreed to pay NPR124.4 million (USD1.03 million) for the bandwith, which increased its holding to the maximum permitted 9.6MHz of paired frequencies in the band.