Binod Chaudhary, Nepal’s sole billionaire and chairman of Chaudhary Group (CG), is planning to bring 4G network as CG recently secured a contract worth HK$778 million ($100 million) with China’s Huawei Technologies to create a 4G network that could be upgraded to 5G in the future.
The 4G network was introduced in Nepal in 2017. It was made available in the capital Kathmandu and Pokhara.
The CG has applied for a license to expand the new 4G network to more cities giving the people quicker access to online service, Min Prasad Aryal, a spokesperson at Nepal telecom told Reuters. The CG has been running limited cellular services in rural areas.
“Huawei has been working with the state-owned telecom company, and now they will be working with us,” Chaudhary told Reuters.
Huawei will supply equipment worth about $100 million for the launch of 4G services, the Himalayan Times said quoting Chaudhary.
The 4G service will include free voice services but focus on data, online payment and other services, according to Chaudhary.
Currently, state-run Nepal Telecom holds 51 percent of the telecommunications market followed by Ncell and Smart Cell. But Chaudhary plans to grab a sizeable portion of that audience.
Chaudhary, also a lawmaker, also expressed confidence that the new network will achieve “one third market share with three-to-four years as they will have an advantage to bring in the latest technology”.
“I can easily continue to make the business grow, but there are thousands of family groups like ours,” he told Tatler Asia in May.
“To have the opportunity to transform my country and to change the fate of millions of people… that’s something incomparable.”
CG has also entered into a deal with LifeCell, a subsidiary of Turkey’s Turkcell, for technical and design services, with Huawei providing the infrastructure, according to the Times.
Chaudhary’s family-owned company first made a fortune selling noodles across Asia, and has since gone on to own a bank, a telecommunication business and dozens of luxury resorts including two in the Maldives in partnership with India’s Taj Group. According to Forbes magazine, Chaudhary is worth US$1.7 billion.