Nepal Telecommunication Authority has amended Radio Frequency Policy (Pricing and Distribution), paving the way for telecom operators to start 4G service in existing 1,800 Mhz frequency band. The amended policy has adopted provision of technology neutrality so that service providers can upgrade to 4G service from 3G service. The amended policy has already been sent to Ministry of Information and Communication for endorsement.
The policy will come into effect once the Radio Frequency Policy Determination Committee approves the draft. For 4G operation, NTA has doubled the frequency fee for the existing band. The maximum frequency fee for the existing 1800Mhz frequency band is Rs 80 lakhs. Telecom companies willing to adopt technology neutrality on this frequency band has to pay Rs one crore and eighty lakhs.
With technology neutrality, telecom operators operating 2G service can upgrade to 3G in existing 900Mhz frequency band. Only the telecom service providers that have received Unified License are eligible for technology neutrality. Currently, Nepal Telecom, Ncell and Smart Telecom have received Unified License. Radio Frequency Policy (Pricing and Distribution), was formulated in 2069.
Technology neutrality will allow service providers to choose services such as 2G, 3G or 4G in the same frequency band. Technology Neutrality means same regulatory principles apply regardless of the technology used and any available technology available can be employed to provide a certain service in the used frequency band. Technology neutrality paves the way for spectrum efficiency. The principle of technology neutrality was first introduced in 2002, and reinforced in the 2009 with the revised EU telecoms legislation.