Nepal is all set to become the first country in South Asia to roll out 5G services. It plans to roll out 5G by mid-July of this year. Whereas in India, the telcos haven’t been able to even test the next generation connectivity properly. Kathmandu, along with three other major cities of Nepal, will have 5G connectivity by the end of this fiscal year. According to a report from The Kathmandu Post, a proposal for issuing a separate frequency for 5G operations was submitted on February 1, 2021, to the National Frequency Determining Committee under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology.
5G Testing Might Take Up to One Year
The ministry is currently studying the submitted proposal and is said to announce something by next week. Anup Nepal, Chief Engineer for the Ministry’s Analysis Division and Frequency Management, said that they would have to first identify the spectrum that will be necessary for installing 5G.
Further, it will be then tested in different geographical locations, and the results will be collected before a full-fledged rollout is possible. He said that the trials may take two or three months or might even a complete year.
It is worth noting that the state-owned telecom company Nepal Telecom will be the first to start 5G trials once the spectrum needed is identified. Nepal already has a strong 4G user base. According to Nepal Telecom, 4G in the country already covers 85% of the population and 75% of the population already own 4G supportive devices.
The government will work under the Digital Nepal Framework 2018 to expand the 5G network in the country. Nepal Telecom MD, Dilli Ram Adhikari, said that the telco would issue a global tender to purchase 5G equipment to bump up network infrastructure once the pilot is successful. Until then, the telco has asked its 4G equipment supplier to supply 5G equipment as well.