Nepal is set to begin 5G testing in the cities of Biratnagar, Birgunj, Kathmandu and Pokhara, according to the country’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MOCIT).
Communications Minister Parbat Gurung told The Himalayan Times technical and infrastructure investigations were being carried out ahead of the trials, which will provide users with access to 5G speeds without charging a fee.
As reported by CommsUpdate, the MOCIT had tasked state provider Nepal Telecom with commencing 5G testing within the current financial year, which ends in mid-July.
Since then, the National Radio Frequency Policy Determination Committee has cleared the way for testing to begin, although 5G frequencies have not yet been allocated. The National Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has recommended using 700MHz, 900MHz, 2300MHz and 2600MHz low-band spectrum, 3300MHz, 3400MHz, 3600MHz and 4100MHz mid-band, and 26GHz high-band spectrum.
In a separate development, Nepal Telecom has been authorized to provide mobile money services via its subsidiary Nepali Digital Payment Company, a joint venture with Rastriya Banijya Bank. The service is expected to launch within the next few weeks.
The venture submitted a licence application in January this year which has now been cleared by Nepal’s central bank. Nepalitelecom.com reports that the service will function as a mobile wallet offering, with customers will be able to use their NT mobile balance for digital transactions including money transfers and bill payments. This will deliver a particular benefit to customers in remote regions that do not receive internet coverage.