16th July 2021, Kathmandu
The CDMA service being provided by the state-owned telecom company Nepal Telecom will be closed within this year. The company said it was shutting down the GSM 4G service, saying the technology was becoming outdated.
The company announced the closure of the CDMA service through its annual program last year. After that, the users in the GSM service areas are available to have started transferring to 3G and 4G services, the company said.
The company has set an annual schedule to replace the CDMA service, which has been unable to move forward due to the coronavirus epidemic. If Covid does not create further challenges, the CDMA service will be shut down by the third quarter of the current fiscal year.
The company launched CDMA mobile service for the first time in Nepal about 16 years ago. For this, the company, using a 10 MHz frequency of 850 MHz bands, has returned 4 MHz to the regulator after stopping this service.
Currently running at 6 MHz, the company plans to return the remaining frequencies from this service gradually.
“Once the CDMA service is completely shut down, we return all the frequencies used in it to the regulator,” said Minu Pradhan, director of the company’s mobile services directorate. The company has also introduced a program to encourage customers to replace the CDMA service with 4G and VoLTE services.
Accordingly, CDMA customers will be provided with feature phones with VoLTE and LTE indoor CPE with Wi-Fi router. It has come to know from the annual program of the company that there will be attractive offers. But it is not yet clear what kind of offer Telecom will bring.
The tools and offers provided to CDMA users to transfer to GSM will not be free, said Pradhan. According to him, mobile and Wi-Fi routers are expected to be available at attractive prices compared to the market.
The company has a large number of CDMA phone users in the Himalayas. Therefore, the telco has made a plan to provide the package including phone to the users there. The company will mobilize a team, including a campaign to promote it in the villages.
“The plan is to provide CPE routers for CDMA EVDO users and VoLTE feature phones for CDM mobile users,” said Director Pradhan in an interview.
The Radio Frequency Policy Determination Committee Chairperson, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, decided to discontinue the CDMA service provided by Nepal Telecom from 2022 BS.
The company has allocated Rs. 13 crores 68 lakh 39 thousand budget for the CDMA mobile phone replacement in the annual program prepared for the coming fiscal year 2078/79.
Similarly, a budget of Rs. 11 crores 15 lakh and 81 thousand has been allocated to purchase an LTE indoor CPE Wi-Fi router to replace EVDO customers based on CDMA.
So, What’s GSM, VoLTE, and CPE router?
GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication), digital cellular technology, is used to transmit data and voice communication at a frequency range of 850MHz to 1900MHz.
This technology, to transmit data, uses a Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) technique. In general, GSM requires Sim, which you can use for both voice calls and data. The Voice quality of GSM is better than that of CDMA. GSM supports all 2G to 5G technologies.
VoLTE (Voice over LTE) is an advanced technology with a high-speed wireless communication standard for mobile phones and data terminals. It delivers high-quality live-like sound over voice calls (HD Voice Quality calls) across the NT 4G Network. With VoLTE, user experience reduced background noise.
They receive ultra-clear sound that’s more natural. Users can also surf at 4G speeds even while being on a phone call. To enable 4G service, dial *444# and surf the internet on the 4G network.
Customer-premises equipment or customer-provided equipment (CPE) refers to any terminals or types of equipment such as telephones, routers, network switches, residential gateways (RG), set-top boxes, fixed-mobile convergence products, home networking adapters, and Internet access gateways.
It enables consumers to access providers’ communication services and distribute them in residence or enterprise with a local area network (LAN).
Users can get quality internet connection everywhere in the office and in-home by just moving around the CPE device. It’s wireless, which is why setup and activation are quick and fast. WiMAX is the name of this service.