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Nepal to start 4G telecom service for the first time from New Year

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Kathmandu, December 30, 2016: Nepalese people will be able to use fourth generation (4G) telecommunication service for the first time from New Year 2017 as Nepal Telecom, the state-owned telecom service provider is starting the new service in two major cities from January 1.

Nepalese telecom companies have been providing only 2G and 3G services. In July this year only, the Nepalese government opened the door for telecom companies to operate 4G service by amending the Radio Frequency Policy.

The Nepal Telecom (NT) is the first company to receive the permission from the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), the regulatory body, to start the new service.

“We are starting 4G service in the capital Kathmandu and Pokhara, a tourist hub in western Nepal, from January 1, 2017” said Shovan Adhikari, joint spokesperson at NT.

“We will expand the service in other areas of the country gradually.”

The 4G service is expected to help customers to operate the various services requiring high bandwidth such as video in an easier way.

Beside NT, three other telecom operatorsNcell, United Telecom Limited (UTL) and Smart Telecom, all privately owned, have also applied to NTA for approval to operate 4G service.

Among them, Ncell, is the largest private sector telecom service provider operating GSM service in Nepal for more than a decade while other two telecom service providers are the new entrants in GSM segment and yet to start the mobile service.

Purusottam Khanal, spokesperson of NTA said that they were studying the roll out plans of the private sector telecom operators currently.

“We are also going to revise the current Radio Frequency Policy further in order to give more frequencies to Ncell as existing frequency allocated to it looks inadequate to provide 4G service,” Khanal told Xinhua. “We also have to give new frequencies to new mobile service operators.”

According to the telecom regulator of Nepal, the proposal of revising the policy has already been tabled in its board. Following the board decision, it will be sent to Ministry of Information and Communication for final approval.

Ncell, which has emerged as fierce competitor to NT, has said that it was awaiting the permission from the NT to start 4G service.

“Once we get permission, we will be able to start 4G service within a month from the date of approval,” an Ncell official told Xinhua.

There are currently six telecom operators in Nepal.

Source: Xinhua