Government-owned Nepal Telecom announced plans to shut down its CDMA network in the fiscal year beginning 1 July, to free up spectrum for 4G services, myRepublica reported.

Dilli Ram Adhikari, MD of Nepal Telecom, told the newspaper it will start using the CDMA frequencies for LTE service sometime in its fiscal 2020 to 2021.

As a condition for allocating two 10MHz blocks of 800MHz spectrum in February 2019, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority required the market leader to return some of its CDMA spectrum.

Data from GSMA Intelligence showed it had 1.3 million CDMA 2G users at end-December.

Nepal Telecom, with a 53 per cent market share by subscribers, lit the CDMA network in 2006. It launched 4G at the end of 2012 and had 3.6 million LTE subs by end-2019, representing 16 per cent of its subscriber base.