Kathmandu, 3 July: Chaudhary Group (CG) has signed a deal worth about $100 million with China’s Huawei Technologies to bring 4G phone services to the country, CG’s chief executive said, shrugging off US security concerns about Huawei’s products.
Aiming to shake up Nepal’s mobile phone market as Reliance Industries Ltd’s Jio has done in India, CG planned an initial $250 million investment in the new 4G network, Chairman Binod Chaudhary said in an interview.
It will include free voice services but focus on data, online payment and other services, he said.
After starting out selling noodles in India and later across Asia, his family-owned conglomerate now includes a bank, a telecommunications business- providing rural telephony – and dozens of resorts, including two in the Maldives in partnership with India’s Taj Group.
Chaudhary, Nepal’s only billionaire with a net worth of $1.7 billion, according to Forbes magazine, has overseas noodle manufacturing factories in India, Serbia and Bangladesh, a hedge against the uncertainties of his landlocked country.
Huawei would supply equipment worth about $100 million for the launch of 4G services, which could later be upgraded to 5G, said Chaudhary, 64, who is also a lawmaker.
“Huawei has been working with the state-owned telecom company, and now they will be working with us,” he said adding Nepal would ensure that business considerations were paramount when deals were made with companies from neighbouring countries.
Huawei Technologies is a major competitor for 5G equipment deals around the world, but the United States has asked allies to reject Huawei technology, arguing that it could be vulnerable to Chinese eavesdropping.
People’s News Monitoring Service