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When will 5G be available in Nepal?

5G phones are already available in Nepal but building the 5G networks they will work with is going to take time: The network operators must test the technology, acquire the necessary radio spectrum from Nepal’s government in an auction or tender, then invest in and build out the network infrastructure before they’re ready to offer service to the people. (5g in Nepal)

What are 5G networks?

When 5G mobile networks come to Nepal, they will use a new radio technology and a different network architecture to deliver higher bandwidth and lower latency than 4G (LTE) and 3G networks we have today. 5G promises peak data speeds of up to 10 Gbps – up to 100 times faster than the 100 Mbps of 4G. Latency, a measure of the time it takes data to travel from the phone to the distant server, could be less than a millisecond in 5G networks, or 60-120 times better than 4G.

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To make the most of this high bandwidth and low latency will require computing resources close to the mobile device, so 5G could also be a contributing factor to the growth of the edge computing market. The ability of private 5G networks to coexist alongside private ones – or for public networks to be “sliced” into multiple virtual private networks – also makes the technology attractive in an enterprise context.

What spectrum will 5G use in Nepal?

Network operators around the world will deliver 5G service in a number of frequency bands: under 1 GHz, offering longer range but lower speeds; mid-band up to about 6 GHz, offering similar range to 4G but at higher speeds, and so-called millimeter-wave offering the very highest speeds in frequency bands at 20 GHz or higher.

The respective governments control the rights to use these frequencies and typically auction them to the highest bidders.

In 2018 MoCIT (Ministry of Communication & Information Technology) had directed Nepal Telecom to include 4 cities for a 5G trial in its 4G deal. As the telecom equipment supplier in the 4G contract (exactly 4.5G) is also Huawei, the same reference that Mr. Deng made. Nepal Telecom is now using Huawei equipment for its 2G, 3G, and 4G network.

According to Ncell, they are working to study the feasibility of a 5G network in Nepal.

Similarly, there is another operator called CG telecom (you might have already heard about it by now) who already announced their partnership with Turkcell to operate a 5G network on the closing day of Nepal Investment Summit 2019, for which the network vendor could be Huawei itself as they have already made a deal.

Although people have started speculating the 5G network in Nepal, it seems to be a very early stage as the regular NTA had no preparations for assigning the 5G spectrum band, one of the key requirements to roll out 5G.

When will 5G services be available in Nepal?

For Nepalese to benefit from 5G services, they need access to 5G-enabled phones or other devices, and their network operators need 5G radio spectrum and 5G network equipment.

While 5G phones are already available in Nepal from different brands, the 5G spectrum and the networks are going to take time.

According to Huawei Nepal CEO Mr. Denny Deng, 5G will come to Nepal in the year 2021. Addressing the Media meet program in the capital organized by the company itself in December of 2019, he also expressed his view that the next-generation 5G technology is in the coming.

Huawei has also been at the forefront of the development of the telecom industry here in Nepal with more than 15,000 base stations in 2G, 3G, and 4G. It’s a great deal considering the fact that Nepal has one of the most difficult terrains in the whole world including Everest Base Camp (EBC).

Some people believe that Nepal cannot afford 5G for now due to the huge investment. Similarly, some people are also arguing that the country is not ready for 5G due to the limitation of its uses. Some even go further to say Nepal does not need 5G at all for 5 years. But as people blame telecom companies to bring 4G late here in Nepal, it is high time that we start discussing 5G.

The time has come for the whole telecom industry operating in Nepal including telecom companies, vendors and the regulator prepare well in advance for the 5G network, including the allocation of 5G spectrum band.

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