Nepal Telecom (NT), the country’s largest mobile network operator (MNO) by subscriptions, has begun preliminary testing of 5G mobile services from two base transceiver stations in Kathmandu, reports Republica. Confirming the company was preparing to launch the much-delayed trials from its offices in the Sundhara and Babarmahal areas of the capital, NT spokesperson Ranjot Lohiya noted services would be expanded to another three districts following successful conclusion of the pre-testing.

The operator had planned to kick off 5G trials in mid-July 2021, but the timetable was delayed by a change of government which delayed assignment of the additional spectrum resources required. Having finally been granted a testing permit and 60MHz of frequencies in the 2600MHz band the following November, NT then encountered further problems with equipment delivery. The operator now intends to conduct trials in all seven provinces of the country by the end of its current financial year (mid-July 2023), as the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has expanded the scope of its initial testing plans. The frequencies will be exempt from standard spectrum fees during the twelve-month trial programme on condition that NT’s customers can access the service at no additional charge.

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