The government has unveiled amended frequency policy, Radio Frequency Policy (pricing and distribution) 2073. The amended policy has incorporated provisions of technology neutrality, spectrum re-farming, merger and acquisition, TV White space, opening permit for broadband internet based on Radio Frequency.
With The amendment, it has paved the way for service providers to launch 4G service. Service providers can upgrade to 4G services on 1800MHz bandwidth adopting for technology neutrality. Earlier, in the Radio Frequency Policy (pricing and distribution) 2069, 700 MHz and 2600 Mhz bandwidth were separated for 4G service operation.
Service providers that have taken the license for GSM mobile service and basic telephone service will be provided the permit for technology neutrality. After providing the permit, NTA will seek for a service expansion action plan from service providers and the latter will be provided time for preparation on some conditions. Service providers will be able to initiate 4G services after they complete required technical preparations.
Related Post: 4G service to start on existing 3G frequency band
The newly amended policy has also paved the way for 3G service operation on 900Mhz band. This frequency band is currently used for2G services. Under technology neutrality, annual frequency fee for 1Mhz bandwidth of900Mhz band has been fixed at Rs2.4 million. Likewise, annual frequency fee for 1Mhz bandwidth of 1800Mhz band has been fixed at Rs1.8 million. The frequency fee for 1Mhz of 2100Mhz has been unchanged, i.e Rs1.2 million annually.
As to 700Mhz and 2600Mhz band, its base price will be set after three months of policy implementation through spectrum auctioning. After spectrum auctioning, one package each of 700 MHz and 2600 MHz will be available without auctioning to Nepal Telecom on the ground of making it pay fee fixed by highest bidder.
In the policy, the government has also introduced the provision of merger and acquisition to cut down the number of service providers keeping into consideration competitive and international market practices. Merger and acquisition will move ahead after necessary laws are formulated.
According to the policy, to make broadband internet available throughout the country, required frequency will be available prioritizing TVWS technology. Likewise, licensing for mobile broadband internet will be opened based on radio frequency 700Mhz and 2600Mhz.
Meanwhile, two giant telecommunication service providers, Ncell and Nepal Telecom are making preparations to make 4Gservice available by September.