Telecom regulator seeks 4G plan from Ncell

- BIBEK SUBEDI, Kathmandu

Oct 31, 2016-

Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has initiated the process of awarding Fourth Generation (4G) mobile service licence to Ncell.

The telecom sector regulator has sought 4G service roll-out plan from the 

privately-owned mobile service provider, according to Milan Mani Sharma, 

corporate communication expert of Ncell. “Yes, we received a letter from NTA late Friday afternoon,” said Sharma. “We will soon submit the plan.”

It has been learnt that NTA’s board meeting held on Friday had directed the NTA management to seek the plan from Ncell.

According to Sharma, Ncell can introduce 4G service within two months after getting the licence. “Infrastructure to launch the service, including the billing system, is ready,” said Sharma. “All we need to do is align our system with the spectrum once we get the licence.”

NTA Spokesperson Min Prasad Aryal, however, said he was unaware about the latest development. “The board met on Friday, but I am unaware about the decision taken,” said Aryal. 

NTA Chairman Digambar Jha couldn’t be reached for comments. An NTA official said the board might have taken the decision without holding consultations with the frequency department. 

Ncell and state-owned Nepal Telecom had filed applications at NTA in July seeking permission to start 4G service from the existing frequency of 1800 Mhz bandwidth.

The regulator has already awarded the 4G license to NT, but had been reluctant to issue the permit to Ncell, as the Parliamentary Finance Committee has barred government agencies from awarding any kind of licence to Ncell before the capital gains tax issue is settled. 

The Finance Committee Chairman Prakash Jwala declined to comment on 

the issue. 

Ncell subscribers will be able to enjoy faster and higher quality data services after 4G services start. Its customers will be able to enjoy high-definition video download and upload, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing, 3D television and gaming, among others, once 4G services is in operation. 

NTA is allowing Ncell to upgrade its service to 4G by adopting “technology neutrality policy”. 

Under the policy, an operator can start 4G services using the existing 

frequency of 1,800 Mhz band. Ncell is currently providing 2G services using this bandwidth.

Published: 31-10-2016 08:11

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