Does Nepal need 5G now?

As the telecommunications authority seems to have achieved many accomplishments these days. There has been some news that Nepal intends to install 5G services by mid of July. If the plans succeed then, Nepal will be the first country in South Asia to provide this service. 

As NTC had released 4G a few years back, what is the use of this incrementing “G”, one might wonder. Is it really necessary? 

And what this might mean for Nepal. 

WHAT IS 5G?

5G stands for fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks. In simple language, it means the speed of your mobile data. It has come a long way since starting from 1G. 

1G brought analog voice delivery system 2G introduced digital voice, 3G delivered mobile data, and 4 G provided mobile broadband. All these have now led to 5G.

The reason it has gained a lot of hype and excitement is that the 5G wireless technology intends to deliver higher Gigabytes per second, peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience.

Another reason for 5G’s anticipated release is because it has super-fast connectivity. It is up to 100 times faster than 4G networks currently being used. 

For example, downloading a high definition video from the internet on a 4G network would take 50 minutes whereas in 5 G it will only take 9!

Also Read: Why are Nepali Startups losing to foreign competitors even within the Nepali market?

5G COMING TO NEPAL

5G wireless mobile networks are planned to be set up in Kathmandu and three other cities under a pilot project by this fiscal year for now. The Nepal Telecommunications Authority submitted a proposal in February which is under study. Further studies are being done by the Frequency Management and Analysis Division.

The Chief Engineer, Anup Nepal has announced that the service will first be tested in multiple different geographical locations and checked before being commercially released. They will also test out different brands before selecting the 5G band. This might take up to a year. So there is yet a lot of time before releasing commercially. 

Once all the testing and beginning operation is completed, state-owned telecom giant, Nepal Telecom is set to start the trial operation. 

In preparation for the commercial release, telecom regulators have already begun activities. Like fixing the frequency band, spectrum, distribution process, pricing, and other possibilities. Declared by Min Prasad Aryal. 

Regarding questions of cost, they have not yet been calculated. 

IS IT REALLY NECESSARY?

Super speed connectivity to the internet is always bound to be wanted. Especially after the pandemic, we have become even more dependent on the internet. WiFi will be slow with the number of people depending on it, especially in public places.

Nepal has already gotten 4G and many people have used it. As it slowly spread to the entire country. However, there are still many people who do not use 4G. People mostly depend on preferring their own WiFi from ISPs. Using mobile data is mostly in case of backup, emergency, or at a place where there is no router available.

In an audience like such, 5G does raise questions for its urgency of release and release in general. It might also be a strain economic-wise. 

But releasing 5G in Nepal is also a great new upgrade and Nepal being the first country in South Asia is impressive news. 

Although the commercial release seems far away, it does promise many things for both the users and the country. However, do you think besides that there was any need for it?

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