SAFF 2013 pictures

Here are some pictures during Nepals game in SAFF championship 2013.

Samsung Galaxy S4- the most innovative phone

With all those features, I am sure this is gonna be an iPhone Killer and speculate new innovations and censor controls in new smartphones to come.

Top Ten unbelievable incidents in Narayan Gopal's Life.

Swor Samrat Narayan Gopal's name needs no introduction to all the Nepali out there. A legend in the Modern Music's first generation (Adhunik Geet yug) was borned today, (Oct 4) in the year 1939. Marking his birth anniversary, I am here to post top ten unknown incidents in his life (taken from film maker/writer Prakash Sayami).

Top Ten Movies of all time

I always want to read top tens in everything until now that I have started writing top ten stuffs in my blog.In this post, I am putting my own best Movies of all time. These movies are not only in the top of my favorite lists, but also are the greatest movies of all time in the history of Cinema.

CG to enter into telecom sector

Chaudhary Group, one of the biggest business house of Nepal (popular for electronic products and food/beverages) is all set to enter the telecom market with the brand name CG tel.

Jan 19, 2017

GSM network shutdown in Nepal !!

Now that 4G is here in Nepal, in two cities Kathmandu and Pokhara, people from all parts of the country are demanding 4G in their area. As of now, soft launch of 4G is made by Nepal Telecom available only to Postpaid users. Very soon, they are launching it to Prepaid users. 
So, there are 3 networks, viz: 2G, 3G and 4G services in GSM technology family, available to the customers. Currently in Nepal, 4G is a data only technology where voice is being provided through CSFB (fall back) to legacy 2G, 3G networks. But some operators abroad have already deployed VoLTE for voice calls through LTE network.
There is a big question like why do you need such three types of network to the subscribers for same kind of services, also when better quality data and voice services are available through latest technologies. It is not only good quality and advanced services that we get from new technologies, but these technologies are also more efficient in many terms to the customer and the operators. For customers, you can get high speed data and HD quality voice at the same rate or even cheaper. For operators, the spectrum efficiency is very high for the latest technologies. Much relief to the operators as they can also maximize the usage of spectrum by re-farming the existing frequency chunk, along with the huge cut off in the time to market for 4G and the total cost of ownership. By that way, they can also launch the latest technologies without getting additional spectrum from the regulator (lengthy auction process). This is also what was done by Nepal Telecom to launch 4G in 1800 MHz, coexisting with GSM network.

4G in the world.

4G can also provide 100s of Mbps speed with the non-continuous spectrum and  nearly 2 billion subscribers are currently with 4G out of 8 billion connected users worldwide. This is from around 500 LTE networks in around 164 countries. As per GSMA, the number of LTE networks and countries is known to grow high in 2017.

GSM shutdown in other parts of the world.

Operators in several countries have already started shutting down their GSM network to use the same spectrum for 4G or 3G network. Mostly used frequencies for 2G are 900 MHz, 1800 MHz (a.k.a DCS) but there are also other rarely used frequencies like 850 and 1900 MHz mostly in America. In Nepal, GSM is being provided by 900 MHz and 1800 MHz only.
Telstra, the largest operator in Australia is the first one to bid farewell to GSM network in 2016. Other operators in Australia Like Optus, Vodafone are also following suit in 2017. Earlier Telstra  shutdown their CDMA 850 MHz to use it for 3G network.
The latest to join the GSM shutdown is AT&T of USA, who termed it as 2G or GSM sunset. It is done in the second week of January 2017. 
Three operators of Singapore, namely Singel, StarHub and M1 had jointly announced the GSM shutdown date to be April 2017. Many operators have either announced the date for the shutdown or they have stopped extending GSM coverage. As per some technology experts, GSM will stay till 2020 when 5G networks becomes available. Some European Operators have quite interestingly told to shutdown 3G before 2G.

How it is possible?

The shutdown is possible as their 3G and 4G is made more ubiquitous like around 90 percent coverage. So, GSM subscribers got down heavily with the entrance of 3G and 4G network. They also managed the easy handset update, either free or at nominal cost. For us in Nepal, it is a daunting challenge but it is not impossible. So the popular phrase of "GSM is here to stay", will not be valid in the long term here for Nepal.

Shutdown in Nepal

The best part is the regulator, Nepal Telecom Authority (NTA) had already started providing  technology neutrality license in some specified bands but later all spectrum bands can be operated for 3G, 4G technologies and beyond. It is due to this term, that Nepal Telecom operated 4G in 1800 MHz. Now it is also possible to launch either 3G or 4G in the 900 MHz band. It now solely depends on how the operators migrate their customers to more efficient technologies to pave the way for 2G network closure. In Nepal CDMA shutdown can happen within three years as there is no further evolution and people are also opting GSM over CDMA.

The official shutdown of the network may be overnight but the preparation to the shutdown along with the migration is rather a slow or gradual activity. With proper preparation and migration plan, they can announce the shutdown to be done in some years time and let people chose other technology before the shutdown.
Some people are skeptic of the coverage and availability of mobile network in their area after the shutdown. As they complain only poor GSM network is available for voice in there and ask what may happen if that technology is also gone!!! So that's why the new technology availability must be ensured along with the update of their devices.

Device Ecosystem: 

Most operators abroad need not worry about the devices available in the market. As with their huge no. of customer base and their partnership with device vendors, they can coordinate to make devices available as per their requirement of spectrum combination. That thing is not easy for us due to small market compared to others. As many operators have already reused the frequency bands of GSM, such devices are readily available in the market

M2M services:

There will be much impact on M2M services with the shutdown as majority of such devices use cheap GSM/ GPRS module for the small data connectivity. For the upgrade, first it will be costly for the module upgrade. So some operators mostly Europeans may opt 3G shutdown before 2G, till LTE-M or NB-IoT or EC-GSM (for small data connectivity) gets matured there. It is not a big deal for much, as the numbers are very few and they can make use of 3G, 4G devices for the same.

Better coverage and Receiver sensitivity

As mostly GSM operates in 900 MHz in the rural areas, usage of latest technologies with the Sub 1GHz spectrum is more advantageous due to better radio characteristics  for a country like us with more rural areas in Plain, Hilly and Mountainous regions. Also the receiver sensitivity is more high with latest technologies, reaching out to more areas even in the same spectrum as compared to 2G.

The data usage in Nepal is increasing with more video & multimedia contents. Also the demands for broadband is more high in rural areas and also HD voice quality is possible with efficient VoLTE. Using Spectrum that are currently operational for GSM, the operators here in Nepal can timely and easily cater the increasing demand of broadband coverage in all parts of the country. What it requires, is a proper plan for migration of the subscribers and the availability of either 4G or 3G in all areas of the country. And I don't see it happening before 2020.