Brace yourself: 4G coming soonNepali mobile telecom subscribers will be able to enjoy faster and higher-quality data services once the planned 4G technology is rolled out, telecom service providers have said.
Nepali mobile telecom subscribers will be able to enjoy faster and higher-quality data services once the planned 4G technology is rolled out, telecom service providers have said.
Customers will be able to use services such as high definition video download/upload, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing, 3D television and gaming, among others, they said.
State-owned Nepal Telecom and private company Ncell have applied for the launch of the 4G service from the existing 1800Mhz frequency band.
NT said it plans to roll out the service within three months from the Katmandu Valley and Pokhara. “Once the 4G service comes into operation, our customers can enjoy internet speeds of up to 300Mbps,” said Dilli Ram Adhikari, deputy spokesperson for NT. “The speed can be increased further in the future. It will revolutionise the way Nepali use mobile internet.”
Ncell representatives could not be reached for comment.
However, all the handheld devices currently available in the market may not be 4G-compatible. But dealers say a majority of the smartphones launched lately can run 4G services.
Summit Pradhananga, marketing manager at Huawei Technologies Nepal, said most of the smartphones launched after 2015 are 4G network-based. “Smartphones under Huawei’s G, P and M series are 4G-compatible,” said Pradhananga. “More than 70 percent of our smartphones run 4G.”
Manish Rajbhandari, managing director of Allied Trade Link, authorised distributor of Panasonic and Karbonn, said the smartphone market is already prepared for the introduction of the 4G service. “Smartphones are manufactured considering the global market and 4G technology is not a new thing,” he said. “Around 30 percent of our smartphones are 4G compatible.”
Meanwhile, a highly-placed source at Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) said it plans to ask both the mobile service operators to present their action plans to roll out the 4G service. “Once they present their plans, we will give them the permission,” said the NTA source. “It will probably take a week or two to give them the permission.”
The authority is allowing the service providers to upgrade their service based on the “Technology Neutrality Policy”. Under the policy, operators can start 4G service using existing 1800Mhz frequency band.
Currently, both the service providers are offering 2G service using this bandwidth, while 3G service is being provided through 2100MHz band.
NT said it has already prepared the action plan and that it will submit it to the authority as soon as the latter asks for the same. “Once we get the permission, we have to purchase some equipment of radio network and make some upgradation in the software,” said Adhikari, adding NT will be able to launch the service in three months after importing the equipment.
NT plans to initially launch the service in Kathmandu and Pokhara targeting high-end customers, and gradually expand to other major cities. “By the end of this fiscal year, we will launch the service in cities like Biratnagar, Birgunj and Bhar-atpur as the data usage is really high in these cities,” said Adhikari.