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NT prepaid subscribers to get 4G from today

- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu

Feb 4, 2017- Nepal Telecom (NT) will be offering 4G (fourth generation) service to its prepaid subscribers too from Saturday, a month after it was launched for postpaid subscribers.

The state-run telecommunications service provider is beginning the service as a pilot project on the occasion of its 13th anniversary. Since the 4G service is in its pilot phase, it has limited coverage.

According to NT Spokesperson Prativa Vaidya, all the preparations to open the 4G network to prepaid customers have been completed. “Like postpaid, prepaid service users in Kathmandu and some areas in Pokhara too will be able to enjoy the 4G network from Saturday,” Vaidya said.

According to NT, expanding the service didn’t require additional infrastructure as it is being launched by optimizing the existing platform.

NT had launched 4G service in the beginning of 2017. According to Vaidya, around 50,000 NT postpaid service subscribers have switched to 4G service.

“As the number of prepaid subscribers is higher than postpaid subscribers, we are expecting a rapid rise in the number of subscribers switching to 4G network,” Vaidya said, adding that they had been receiving great feedback from consumers regarding the speed of the 4G network.

As part of the preparations for launching 4G service, the telecom giant had upgraded 308 of its Base Transceiver Station (BTS) towers in the Kathmandu Valley and 25 stations in Pokhara. The upgraded network allows consumers to use data at speeds of up to 32.4 Mbps. NT aims to eventually raise it to 100 Mbps. The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has authorised NT to offer 4G service with a bandwidth of 5 Mhz from the 1800 Mhz frequency band. NT has asked the regulator for another 5 Mhz bandwidth to increase the speed to 100 Mbps.

Once the pilot phase is completed, NT aims to launch the service in 15 municipalities in the first phase. The expansion will be based on the scale of demand and supply. The telecom service provider is of the view that people in remote places might not be in need of 4G service or may not want to pay more to get faster connectivity.

As per the latest report prepared by the NTA, the state-owned telecommunication service provider has 13,536,114 GSM subscribers. The report states that the company has 7,504,457 internet service users using GPRS, EDGE and WCDMA technologies. There are 13.74 million internet service subscribers using these technologies across the country, according to the NTA’s data.

With the rapid spread of telecommunication services in the country and rising use of social media platforms as well as smartphone applications like Viber and WhatsApp, among others, data penetration has been witnessing a constant rise for the past few years. The NTA report shows that the date penetration rate in the entire telecommunications sector stands at 54 percent.

Service for Apple users by March

 

KATHMANDU: State-run Nepal Telecom (NT) has stated that Apple phone users in Nepal will likely to be able to use 4G (fourth generation) service by March 2017.

According to NT Spokesperson Prativa Vaidya, the major task of signing a non-disclosure agreement with Apple to enable the service has already been completed, and the company is waiting for the US-based company to include NT in its regulatory table.

The agreement basically allows a telecom company to synchronise its network with Apple devices that run on iOS, permitting iPhone and iPad users to access 4G service on its network.

Telecom operators around the world must sign an agreement with Apple to enable their customers to use devices such as iPhone and iPad on their networks. “We did a test and got to know that iPhone models like 6 and 7 imported from China had no issue with 4G service,” Vaidya said, adding that all Apple device users can easily upgrade to 4G network once NT is listed in Apple’s system.

Published: 04-02-2017 09:11

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