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Nepal to launch 4G service soon

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Kathmandu, July 19, 2016: The government has paved the way for telecommunication companies to provide 4G service.

The Ministry of Information and Communications has amended the Radio Frequency (Distribution and Price) Policy 2069 to allow the operation of the service.

The ministry organized a press conference on Monday and informed that the policy has been amended and the government will allow the companies fulfilling the requirements to provide the 4G service.

The government decision, which is yet to come into effect, has been hailed as a historic achievement, according to Minister for Information and Communications Sherdhan Rai. He informed that the new service can be provided from the same old band.

Main opposition Nepai Congress reacted to the decision saying that the sale of frequency would have long-lasting impact so the government should not just form policy but formulate laws in this regard.

The ministry informed that the 4G service will be available in a month and a half.

Nepal Telecom Authority Chairman Digambar Jha said that the government body will announce tender bids for the service at the earliest.

Nepal Telecom, Ncell and Smart Telecom have shown interest in providing the 4G service. These companies should take permission from the authority to provide the service. After getting the permission, they have to begin technical preparation and if the authority deems it fine then it can provide license to run the service. The technical preparation will take two months, according to the authority. The developed countries have been providing four-G service since eight years.

The telecom authority is also preparing to formulate laws of merger and acquisition arguing that the number of telecom service providers in the country is more than required. Currently, there are six telecom service providers in Nepal. As the different companies have to install separate infrastructure, the consumers have to bear the brunt of high prices for the services. However, the authority believes that merger of the companies would bring down the cost and therefore it is preparing to formulate the related laws.