NTA amends frequency policy

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 7, 2016-

The government is making preparations to allow telecommunication service providers start 4G (Fourth Generation) services by doubling the frequency fee for the existing 1,800 Mhz band.

Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) on Tuesday amended the Radio Frequency Policy, allowing telecom operators to start the 4G-based services. It submitted the draft of the policy to the Ministry of Information and Comm-unication on Wednesday. “We have submitted the amended policy to the ministry,” said NTA Spokesperson Min Prasad Aryal. 

The revised policy will be reviewed by the ministry’s technical committee. It will then be forwarded to the Radio Frequency Determination Committee headed by Minister for Information and Communications Sherdhan Rai for approval. “The policy will come into effect after the committee approves the draft,” said Aryal.

The authority will allow the service providers to upgrade their service under the technology neutrality policy. Under this policy, operators can start the 4G services using the existing frequency of 1,800 Mhz band. Telecom operators are currently offering 3G services using the same band. 

The service providers can also upgrade to the 3G technology from the existing frequency of 900Mhz band. This frequency band is currently being used for 2G services. 

A highly-placed source at NTA said the annual frequency fee for 1 Mhz bandwidth of the 900 Mhz band has been increased to Rs24 million from existing Rs12 million. “The annual frequency fee for 1Mhz bandwidth has been increased to Rs19 million from existing Rs8 million,” said the source.

However, only telecom operators having the Unified Telecom License are eligible for the technology neutrality policy. Nepal Telecom, Ncell and Smart Telecom have such a license, while United Telecom has initiated the process to acquire the permit.

Two weeks ago, Rai had asked NTA to make an action plan for starting 4G services and carrying out reforms in other services within a week.

Published: 07-07-2016 11:10

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