With the first-ever spectrum auction held by Nepal Telecommunication Authority, Ncell will get the technology-neutral frequency for the 900 MHz and 2100 MHz bands. Previously, the privately-owned telecom firm outbid Nepal Telecom for the 1800 MHz range.
Ncell won the highest bid for more frequency in the 1800MHz spectrum band at the Nepal Telecommunication Authority’s first auction. At an auction, it outbid Nepal Telecom and obtained 9 MHz of spectrum (with refarming), giving it a total of 20 MHz. Similarly, NTA provided Nepal Telecom with an additional 5 MHz at the winning bid price.
For a long time, no decision had been made about the remaining bands. However, in accordance with the Government’s technology neutrality policy, NTA will now hand over the frequencies to Ncell in the 900 and 2100 MHz bands.
“The Ministry of communication and information technology (MoCIT) had decided for technology neutrality over radio frequency bands to telecom operators,” NTA Chair Purushottam Khanal said. He went on to say, “The decision to hand over the frequency to Ncell is part of the Nepal Telecommunication Authority’s very technology neutrality policy.”
To negotiate the deal with Ncell, the regulator formed a separate committee headed by NTA Director Mr. Ambar Sthapit. Before making a final decision, the committee had a lengthy discussion with Ncell.
Ncell’s additional frequency bandwidth (900MHz, 2100MHz)
Ncell can now offer a maximum of 1.6 MHz paired frequency over 900 MHz, as part of the agreement. Over the 2100 MHz band, it will be entitled to a 5 MHz paired frequency.
Ncell currently offers a 2G service with an 8 MHz paired frequency over 900 MHz and a 10 MHz paired frequency over 2100 MHz.
Any telecom company will only receive a maximum of 9.6 MHz over the 900 MHz frequency under the new spectrum policy. At the same time, it will only gain 15 MHz on the 2100 MHz band. As a result, in all of the common spectrum bands, Ncell will now have the maximum frequency bandwidth limit (900 MHz, 1800MHz, and 2100MHz).
The Frequency’s Price
For the unpaired 900 MHz band, Ncell is expected to pay 3 crores 88 lakhs and 80 thousand rupees per MHz. The sum is 62 percent higher than the telecom operator’s agreed-upon base price. The government will receive 12 crores, 44 lakhs, and 16 thousand rupees in frequency royalties for the 1.6 MHz paired band.
Ncell, on the other hand, will be responsible for 7 crores 50 lakhs for an unpaired 5 MHz bandwidth in the 2100 MHz band. Similarly, for 2100 MHz, it would pay 15 crores or 5 MHz of paired bandwidth. Ncell has stated that it is willing to pay 20% more than the base price for the frequency fee for the 2100 MHz band.
Technology neutral bands 900 MHz and 2100 MHz have several advantages
Ncell can operate any cellular technology in the 900 MHz and 2100 MHz bands after receiving a technology-neutral frequency. As previously stated, the telecom operator will deploy 4G in the 900 MHz band, while 3G will be deployed in the 2100 MHz band for the time being, with plans to move to 4G/5G later.
Similarly, the operator would be able to deliver a stronger cellular network to its customers as a result of the extra frequency. More spectrum would result in increased network availability, as well as improved voice and internet service.
Ncell customers can benefit from more frequencies not only in terms of a more reliable network, but also in terms of longer battery life on their smartphones.
As previously stated, Ncell was lobbying for more spectrum (particularly 900MHz) to extend its 4G network to more remote areas. It may be able to boost its network capacities to new heights with new frequency privileges. What are your thoughts on this news? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
This article has been sourced from NepaliTelecom.com.