Govt to allow telcos to start 4G servicesThe government is gearing up to amend the Radio Frequency Policy to allow telecom operators to start 4G-based services.
The government is gearing up to amend the Radio Frequency Policy to allow telecom operators to start 4G-based services.
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) has decided to adopt the “technology neutrality” policy, under which telecom operators will be allowed to introduce 4G services using existing 1800 Mhz band. Telecom operators, including Nepal Telecom and Ncell, have long been seeking permission from the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) to launch 4G-based services, but the NTA has been refusing give its go-ahead, citing confusion over policy.
4G is the most current generation of cell phone network coverage and it offers data speeds five times faster than 3G. Introduction of 4G services is part of NT’s new roadmap, which aims at expansion and improving service quality. NT plans to launch 4G in metropolis and sub-metropolis from the next fiscal year.
Radio Frequency Determination Committee led by Minister for Information and Communications Sherdhan Rai on Wednesday had asked the NTA to devise an action plan on 4G and other services within a week. Minister Rai himself visited the NTA and sought the action plan. “We must allocate frequency to telecom companies within mid-July,” a NTA official quoted Minister Rai as saying. “The 4G service must start by the end of this fiscal year.”
The NTA has completed preparing the action plan and has also appointed a consultant to determine the 4G spectrum price. “We will submit the action plan along with pricing policy to the committee by June 29 after getting approval from our board,” said the NTA official.
According to MoIC Secretary Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, the committee will review the action plan and will allow telecom service providers to start 4G service by mid-July. The NTA is also planning to submit a draft of the Merger and Acquisition Policy for telecom service providers by June 29.
The ministry has also asked the authority to prepare a detailed work plan to spend Rural Telecomm Development Fund (RTDF).