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Nepal Telecom Still Has no Plans to Expand its 4G Service

WTF? Next year, phones like Samsung Galaxy S10 will arrive with 5G support built into them. But, here in Nepal, 4G still hasn’t been as widely adopted as it should have been. Why? Does no one in NTC live in parts where 4G is not available?

It was said that the delay in the expansion of Nepal Telecom’s 4G service was due to the lingering probe on the expansion of the service by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). CIAA suspected some bias in the Tender process. But it turns out, CIAA has already cleared the project of any wrong-doing and has given it a green signal to go ahead. Still, NTC hasn’t hastened the expansion process.

Before the CIAA probe, Nepal Telecom had issued two separate tender notices for the procurement of base transceiver stations and the core network to facilitate 4G transmission. Though different international firms had submitted bids, the process was stalled due to the CIAA probe.

Now, it seems that the 4G expansion plan of NT is suffering because of the government’s inability to fill the vacant top post of the managing director of Nepal Telecom. The post has been lying vacant since the government sacked Kamini Rajbhandari citing her incompetence. Who seems incompetent now?

However, officials of the Ministry of Communications and Technology have said that “NT’s 4G expansion will gain momentum within the next few weeks.” We will see about that.

NTC was the first company to launch 4G service in Nepal in 2017. Ncell launched its 4G almost five months later. But Ncell has already expanded the service to more than two dozen cities across Nepal while 4G service of NTC has been limited to Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara.

What’s even more fascinating is that of all the 4G subscribers in Nepal, about 64% are using Ncell’s service while only 32% use that of NTC. The rest use Smart Telecoms service.

Whatever NTC might be doing currently, it should clear the mess inside and focus on providing better service to its customers. Otherwise, it will see even more of its users switching to Ncell for a reliable and objectively better connection.

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