4G subscribers rue slow data speed

Published On: April 29, 2017 12:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 29: Nepal Telecom's 4G subscribers have started voicing dissatisfaction over service quality even though it has only been four months since the high-speed next generation telecommunications network was rolled out.

Subscribers switching to 4G network of Nepal Telecom (NT) say that they have been facing problems like slow Internet sped, breakdown while using the internet and limited coverage area, among others. Basanta Poudel, a resident of Birauta in Pokhara, who switched to 4G network few weeks ago, said that 4G network works in only selected areas. “We get high-speed Internet only in lakeside area, New Road and Naya Bazaar, among others. Birauta lies just two kilometers from New Road. But we haven't experience any significant improvement in service compared to 3G,” he added.

“Even in New Road and Naya Bazaar area, connection breaks down automatically while surfing Internet.”

Naresh Bhandari, a resident of Dillizabar, Kathmandu, echoed Poudel, saying that he has not experienced significant change in Internet speed after switching to 4G network. “The speed is not satisfying. Also, the connection breaks automatically,” he added.

NT officials, however, said that subscribers might have faced disturbance in network due high concentration of users in a certain area. “Service quality is also determined by the phones used.

Some phones doesn't support high-speed network,” she said, adding: “Disturbances can be belt also if BTS tower is far from the users,” she said, adding that the NT was working to roll out full-fledged 4G service in Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara.

The state-owned telecom operator had launched 4G network for post-paid subscribers on January 1 and pre-paid users in the first week of February.

Meanwhile, the number of subscribers switching to 4G network is not satisfactory as only around half a million NT subscribers are currently using 4 service. 

“The need to upgrade SIM card to USIM might have discouraged subscribers from switching to 4G network,” Baidhya said.

NT had upgraded 308 BTS towers in Kathmandu and Pokhara to provide 4G service in the first phase. According to Baidhya, subscribers enjoy data speed of as high as 42 Mbps in 4G network. 

At present, 541,509 subscribers are using 4G service, according to NT. Of them, 470,961 are pre-paid users.

Baidhya told Republica that the NT was preparing tender documents to roll out 4G services to other parts of the country.

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