It was back in March 2010, Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) wrote to Ministry of Communications and Information (MoIC) on behalf of Nepal Telecom (NT) for the operation request of Wireless Broadband Internet – WiMax in the Nepalese sky. Looks, like that dream of NT is going real. Nepal Telecom has been testing WiMax inside the ringroad of Kathmandu Valley now. NT officials has informally signaled that Nepal Telecom WiMax is scheduled for launch this Dashain/Tihar (November 2012).
It has been known that NT has already tested 10 WiMax base stations (BS) in the Valley and going to install 40 more BS to expand the WiMax coverage in Kathmandu. The WiMax solutions has been provided by c, a US-based vendor for 4G Technology, WiMax Mobile broadband and LTE. Nepal Telecom had selected Airspan for countrywide 4G Coverage in Nepal only in last February 22, 2012.
TechSansar had already reported that the basic coverage of WiMax Microwave Line of Sight Communication is around the radius of 50 KM from the service provider’s wave transmitting station (BS) which is enough distance to cover the whole of Kathmandu valley. However, for the dense urban city Kathmandu the safest operating radius of WiMax is around 10KM. However, Nepal Telecom (NT) and Airspan designed the WiMax architect in such a way that a single BS can provide coverage of upto only 1KM with the least speed of 4Mbps. Expect even lesser bandwidth speed in compact and narrower city dwellings.
Nepal Telecom WiMax project has expected the completion of 50 BS within November, and other 400 more Wi-Fi hotspots which will be monitored by NTA and approved the same for the tariff. The current proposal says, for the volume based package of 5GB WiMax Broadband Internet service in Kathmandu costs approx NRs 800. This cost of WiMax service is just preliminary, and we can expect more packages for domestic, corporate and businesses soon after they the service. The competition of NT Wimax with WiFi providers in Nepal will ameliorate soon.
NT will be outsourcing the Customer Premises Equipments (CPE) and WiMax support services to another 3rd party company, so the customers can expect a better service than it would be directly with NT.
While many city dwellers think that WiMAX is going to be in their reach, and other countryman (outside of the valley – who are always neglected in first round of technology deployment by NT), they would not raise the voice that this WiMAX was initially proposed for rural networking. The increasing demand of Broadband in Nepal has been a matter of concern even for ITU (International Telecom Union) that’s why they provided their helping hands for broadband in Nepal, but the projects are snailing in paper based records in Authority houses.
For right now, Telecom has calculated that about 1500 hotspots for WiMAX BS will suffice the need of bandwidth in whole of the country. They should better cover the remote areas of Nepal with high Internet speed fast so that unnecessary works of cabling would be eliminated. This Wireless broadband service if comes along with telephony backend service (Nepal Telecom & Airspan both haven’t expressed any concern over the telephony service via WiMAX in Nepal yet) would be a real praise for rural and remote villages. This will make 100% of the telephone and broadband internet penetration in Nepal.
We aren’t going to debate over WiMAX technology in Nepal against the Worldwide leading LTE, are we? (Read this) – or are we foreseeing WiMAX will be ignored after a year of deployment as NTC is doing with 3G EVDO and IP-CDMA Projects currently? Let’s get smart here.