NTA had permitted ST to start 4G services from July 30 under the technology neutral spectrum within the existing 1800 MHz bandwidth. However, ST, in a letter to NT, stated its inability to launch the service right away.
Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson for NTA said, “Smart Telecom has recently notified us that it needs another two months to launch 4G service. The company has said it is in the process of importing 4G-related equipment and that it plans to launch the service aggressively in the country within September.”
In the letter to NTA, ST said that it had plans to install additional 213 4G-compatible Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in different places in the country in the coming two months.
ST has 350 BTS towers in total but only 50 BTS towers are 4G-compatible.
The Himalayan Times reports that ST still has to pay around Rs 500 million as frequency fee and renewal fee to the government. ST can only start its 4G service after it clears its dues to the NTA.
Sabin Shrestha, chief administrative officer of Smart Telecom said that “We should be able to complete these processes within the next two months and launch the 4G service in Kathmandu and Pokhara.”
Currently, ST does not offer its services in the Kathmandu Valley but it has installed BTS towers in different places in the Valley. ST plans to provide 4G and other services simultaneously for the people in the Valley.