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Two international companies get approval to provide internet and telephone services in the Nepali sky

14th June 2021
"NTA has granted approval to two international companies Thales and Sita For Aircraft for the purpose. According to the NTA, they sent approval letters to these companies on April 4"

Passengers flying at 10,000 feet above Nepal's skies will soon have access to in-flight internet. The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has allowed two Internet service providers (ISPs) to provide in-flight internet in Nepal.

In-flight internet service in Nepal: Many nations have already approved the usage of in-flight internet, and Nepal is the latest to do so. According to the NTA, passengers will be able to access internet access in a few months.

In April, a proposal for in-flight internet service was presented to the NTA. The authorities has finally granted clearance to two broadband providers to provide mobile internet services during flights after months of planning.

Thales Ink and Sita For Aircraft were chosen to provide the service.

What is the mechanism behind it?

In general, two types of technology are used to provide in-flight connectivity. One, a built-in antenna in the plane's fuselage (main body) collects signals from the nearest ground tower. The connection will be faultless up to a particular height unless and until the plane is flying over a vast area with no towers (such as an ocean).

The second technique, on the other hand, is to use an antenna on the plane to receive data from geostationary satellites. Passengers use an onboard router to connect to the plane's WiFi.

BTS (Base Transceiver Station) satellite will provide internet connectivity to passengers in aircraft, according to NTA director Mr. Ambar Sthapit. It's worth noting that the plane's onboard internet will be provided by the plane's own country's telecommunications service provider, rather than Nepal's.

Ambar Sthapit explains, "This means that a network of service providers from other nations will be able to operate on our skies." For example, Lufthansa Airlines will offer internet via a German telecom provider, whereas Air India will offer internet through an Indian telecom operator, and so on.

Following India and Afghanistan, Nepal has become the third SAARC country to allow in-flight internet.

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Tests to begin from Poush, NTA receives NTC's 5G workplan

14th June 2021
"NTC plans to begin 5G testing in Poush: Nepal Telecom has filed a plan to test 5G in the country and is seeking a dedicated spectrum"

By the end of Poush 2078 ( Jan 2022) , Nepal's major telecom provider, NTC, aims to start testing for a 5G network. The company has submitted its work plan to the National Telecommunications Authority in the aim of getting dedicated 5G spectrum in the near future.

NTC plans to begin 5G testing in Poush: Nepal Telecom has filed a plan to test 5G in the country and is seeking a dedicated spectrum. The telco has a huge advantage in this regard because the Nepalese government has formally indicated that it will provide the company with free 5G spectrum for a year. NTC will begin testing its 5G network by the end of Poush this year, if all goes smoothly.

Workplan

The 2600MHz spectrum is prioritized in NTC's development plan, which is seeking a good answer from Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA). The telecom operator will begin the process of obtaining the appropriate equipment after the final decision is made. Similarly, the firm has been in contact with a number of radio equipment manufacturers. It could take up to four months to obtain these devices.

Nepal Telecom has also demanded its own lower and mid-band spectrum. After a successful rollout, its 5G would operate between 700MHz and 800MHz, or 2600MHz, if authorized.

Nepal Telecom's 5G technology, according to Dilliram Adhikari (Managing Director, NTC), will most likely be tested in four major cities and a few rural areas across the country. Locations with enough tower space and electricity will be picked in rural areas.

For 5G spectrum, a tech-neutral policy is in place.

NTA is preparing its own set of 5G criteria for Nepal before replying to NTC.

“Nepal Telecommunications Authority has set up a committee to explore 5G test and spectrum availability,” said Ambar Sthapit (Deputy Director, NTA). NTA will provide spectrum and other technical assistance to NTC after the committee completes its study.”

The committee will finish its 5G procedure within 15 days, in accordance with the Tech Neutrality Policy, and will end their discussion to give NTC a fifth-generation spectrum.

The NTA will then create criteria for all telecom businesses in the country, determining the best 5G spectrum for each. In the coming fiscal year, 2078/79, NTA plans to speed up the deployment of its 5G spectrum to other telecoms.

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