Nepal Telecom Authority Chairman resigns, WiMAX auction to suffer

Telecom Lead Asia: The WiMAX wireless spectrum auction in
Nepal has yet again jeopardized, due to resignation of Bhesh Raj Kanel, the
chairman of the national regulator the Nepal Telecommunications Authority

Online news journal eKantipur reported that the auction
process was in the final stages of securing government approval. It said that
the resignation of Bhesh Raj Kanel has thrown the process into doubt.


The constant delay in the process of WiMAX spectrum auction
has increased concerns of internet service providers (ISPs) of the country.


The NTA seeks to sell off frequencies of WiMAX-suitable
spectrum in Nepal, which will enable carriers to offer broadband wireless
access (BWA) high speed voice and data services to customers.


On an interim basis, the outgoing chairman has been
replaced by NTA Director Ananda Raj Khanal. However,
the NTA board official does not have authorization either to call a
board meeting or to take any policy level decision.


State-owned PTO Nepal Telecom (NT) has been
assigned a 30MHz block of spectrum to offer WiMAX services. NT is scheduled to
launch data service from 15 September this year.


According to the NTA, NT will be charged for its
WiMAX spectrum at a later date based on the auction allocations that take place
in future.


The annual spectrum fee for WiMAX spectrum has been set
at NPR300, 000 (USD3,445) per 1MHz per annum for an ISP,
and NPR7 million per 1MHz per year for telecom operators.


The government of Nepal has set aside parts of the 2.3GHz
and 3.3GHz band for WiMAX voice and data services.


Nepal Telecom selects Airspan for 4G services across the


Earlier, Nepal Telecom selected Airspan Networks, a
provider of 4G broadband wireless access networks, for rolling out LTE 4G
services across the nation. The network will provide high-speed data
services to thousands of residents and businesses.


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