5G in Nepal-Everything you need to know

1. What really is 5G network?

5G is the fifth generation network and is the latest network which is under extensive research and development(R&D) phase. The 5G network is aimed to fulfill the increasing demand of data by faster,secure,reliable and intelligence network. Currently, the experimental data shows the download speed ranging from 100-900 Mbps while upload speed upto 100 Mbps. But, theoretically the download speed is greater than 1 Gbps to upto 5 Gbps. Currently, 4G network is popular worldwide and is expanding rapidly. In country like Nepal, still 4G is in verge of expansion. So the available of 5G network in Nepal will take at least more 2-3 years. However, Nepal telecom and CG Telecom are keen interested in launching 5G.

2. what is difference between 1G,2G,3G,4G?

1G is the first generation analog cellular communication system developed in 1880’s. It is capable for voice communication only with max speed of 2.4 Kbps.

2G is the second generation digital cellular communication system developed in 1991 in Finland. It is capable of sending SMS and MMS. GPRS and EDGE are updated version of 2G supporting data transfer of upto 50 Kbps and 1 Mbps respectively.

3G is the third generation digital cellular network developed in 1998. It is especially optimized for high speed data transfer for online video streaming, online games and live video chat. It’s download speed is of 2 Mbps. HSPA,HSDPA are the upgraded version of 3G network.

4G is the fourth generation digital cellular network launched in 2008 for high speed data transfer. The maximum download speed for low mobility is 1 Gbps while for high mobility is 100 Mbps.

3.Who is ahead in 5G network race?

Currently, dozens of technology company like Nokia, Huawei, ZTE, AT&T, and others are investing huge sum of money in research and development of 5G network. In the same way, mobile manufacturer like Samsung, Motorola, LG are also in race to produce the 5G compatible smartphones and accessories.

Among technology companies, according to BBC Click, Huawei is 18 months ahead, leading the race, among all other operator. They further stated”This have been somehow a headache to western countries including USA”. Some analytics also assumed that “the ban by USA to telecom giant Huawei is because of this reason”. However, white house strongly denied and always says, it is a potential threat to their country. Later in June 29, white house uplift the banned.

first 5g launch in korea by skt telecom
Fig 3: First 5G launch in Korea by SK Telecom in 3 April 2019/Source: sk telecom

In April 3 -2019, the world’s first 5G network was publicly deployed in South Korea by three operator named SK Telecom, KT Corporate and LG U Plus. According to them, SK telecom have 38,000 BTS, KT Corporation have 30,000 BTS and LG U Plus have 18,000 BTS. But US telcos, Verizon opposed and told that they have launched 5G, a hour earlier in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis. After a week, Switzerland, Bahrain and the United Kingdom have also launched the 5G network.

In the same way, China and Japan are also on verge of deploying the latest 5G network. China have already installed more than 30,000 BTS towers across it country. Whiile, Japan’s four mobile phone service operators -NTT Docomo Inc., KDDI Corp., SoftBank Corp. and e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. are also planning to launch 5G services across the nation in 2020.

4. When will Nepal adopt 5G?

Currently, out of 3 giant telecom operator, only Ncell and Nepal Telecom are expanding the 4G network throughout the country, although, Smart cell is also in the same race. According to Nepal telecom, they will latch the whole citizen of Nepal by 4G network by the end of 2019. With this intention, they are adding about 800 new BTS towers(already existed around 4000 BTS towers). Similarly, Ncell on the other hand have already been providing 4G services in all 7 provinces and major 1000 places and are rapidly multiplying this number. With this race in 4G, Nepali telecom operators still take more than 2-3 years to adopt 5G.

5. Nepal Telecom and CG Telecom are interested in 5G?

State owned Nepal Telecom is interest in expanding the 5G network in near future. According to government spokesperson Gokul Baskota-“they will uplift Nepal telecom and will expand 5G network in next 5 years”. During the contract of 4G expansion project with China Communication Service International (CCSI), he proposed to setup 5G network test in Kathmandu for free. However, in reality, 5G test in Kathmandu will begin or not, is yet too be seen.

Likewise, CG telecom, already stated that they will bring the latest 5G technology and have done agreement of worth Rs 25 Billion with Turkcell, the Turkish operator, during Nepal Investment Summit 2019. But yet, CG telecom haven’t got the unified licence to operate all the cellular services. So, what will CG telecom do if they got unified licence in near future?? Its finger crossed…

In the same fashion, there is no doubt that Ncell would keep quiet and see other telcos expanding 5G network. Rather, it may be the first telecom operator to start 5G service, as its past work clearly suggest.

Above all, for 5G, bandwidth must be allocated and bandwidth is almost of around 26.8 GHz. NTA, Nepal Telecommunication Authority, a governing body, should do a homework regarding bandwidth allocation and distribution. For this task, NTA is always either been failed or late. Let’s wish, this time NTA will make clear provisions for easy deployment of 5G to unleash it’s potential advantage in Nepal, in near future.

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2 thoughts on “5G in Nepal-Everything you need to know

  • September 14, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    can we used 5G smartphone in 2020? or when 5G will Lunch in nepal?

    • September 14, 2019 at 11:38 pm

      Nepal Telecom is now expanding 4G LTE in whole country. During the contract with Chinese firm ZTE and Huawei,Nepal Telecom have done contract to test 5G in 4/5 main areas. So after 4G LTE expansion., NT is likely to test 5G in main cities. And other thing, 5G smartphone is already available but in Nepal having 5G smartphone without 5G network is like having nothing. Lets wait 5G will be on test soon.


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