Nepal Telecom activated its first commercial WiMAX network in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal after a testing phase in that location. The launch was anticipated for at least the past month, according to local media reports.
The carrier has divided its network rollout into an East Bloc and a West Bloc, and initially is focusing its launch on the East Bloc, consisting of central and eastern Nepal. The second phase of the rollout will include the areas of Pokhara and Bhairahawa in the western region. The carrier will first target corporate customers and other businesses, while consumers will have to wait a little longer for new WiMAX connections, the company said.
The network was built in partnership with WiMAX vendor Airspan, and operates in the 2.3 GHz band. Nepal Telecom said it hopes to have about 200,000 WiMAX lines in service a year from now. Nepal Telecom also plans activate about 1,500 Wi-Fi hotspots to relieve congested areas of its network.
The news is notable considering a number of WiMAX carriers, such as Yota in Russia, are transitioning from WiMAX to LTE. However, the Nepal Telecom deployment shows that WiMAX still has life left, particularly in developing markets.
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