Yangyel Lhaden 

Tashi InfoComm Limited (TICL, “TashiCell”) is gearing up to launch 5G by the end of this year in Paro, Thimphu, and Phuentsholing.

Earlier this month, Bhutan Telecom Limited (BTL) announced that it could introduce the 5G service by December.

TICL’s managing director, Tashi Tshering, said they have been preparing the groundwork needed to introduce the service since last year. “But the execution of the project began in July after the government allocated 5G spectrum to TashiCell.”

He said that 5G has high capacity, low latency, and huge potential to accommodate other telecommunications services. “TashiCell’s commitment is to provide reliable, user friendly, and adaptable means of communication.”

There are few existing brands and models of smartphone that support 5G, such as the iPhone 12 series and above, Samsung’s Galaxy Fold3 5G, Galaxy s21 Ultra, and Sony’s Xperia 5G III.

However, only two brands of mobile phones, Vivo and Huawei, support TashiCell’s 5G spectrum.

Tashi Tshering said that Vivo and Huawei support TashiCell’s 5G without any additional configuration from phone manufacturers. “We are working with phone manufacturers that support 5G to configure their phones for compatibility with our 5G spectrum.”

TashiCell is going to introduce 5G in certain locations around Thimphu, Phuentsholing, and Paro.

According to the TashiCell managing director, about 17 locations in Thimphu will have access to 5G service. “The service will be gradually extended in Thimphu, and introduced in other dzongkhags.”

He said that 5G will be introduced in locations where there are institutions and offices that have a need for higher internet speed. “When more users use 5G, the 4G network will be less congested and faster. Launching 5G will not hamper the 4G network; rather, 5G will complement 4G.”

Meanwhile, TashiCell is going to announce data packages and charges for 5G during the launch.

Edited by Tashi Dema