Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) has published a working procedure for 5G tests, thereby opening the way for 5G trials in the country. The procedure contains the terms and conditions that telecom companies have to adhere to during, before, throughout, and after the 5G trials.
NTA opens the way for 5G Trials
The procedure guidelines published on July 19 are based on the decision of the Radio Frequency Policy Determination Committee. The committee falls under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT).
Telecom companies need to submit an application to NTA detailing their plans and modality for 5G trials. Plus, they’ll need to include details regarding the trial site, frequency, and proposed timeline for operation connection and operation. NTA has made it mandatory for telcos to include both rural and town areas in their trial site.
5G infrastructure in Nepal
NTA will then decide to either approve or disapprove the request. Telcos can only start building the network infrastructure after the approval. If they fail to report any progress in infrastructure development, NTA can revoke their trial license. Once the trial is over, telcos can continue using network equipment for 4G after NTA’s approval.
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Free 5G for customers
The frequency required for the 5G trials will be provided to telcos for free by NTA. On the other hand, they won’t be allowed to charge any fee from the customer during the trial period. This trial period can last up to 12 months.
Telcos will also be required to submit reports to NTA about the progress of the trial every 3 months. They need to include opportunities, problems, and suggestions regarding 5G implementation.
5G in Nepal: The roadblock
State-owned Nepal Telecom (NT) is all but ready to start 5G trials in the country. The Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government is yet to pick a Communications and Information Technology Minister. This has halted the process of spectrum allotment. We believe the process will resume once the position in MoCIT is filled.
The recent political changes can hamper Nepal’s dream of becoming the first South Asian country to have fifth-generation mobile connectivity. Next in line is India which has already given green signals to a couple of telcos for 5G trials.
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