License to operate in Nepal – 9N7AH
License to operate in Nepal.
I was able to obtained a temporary licence to operate a portable amateur radio in Nepal.
This is the best government document i have ever received. It is on course ‘handmade’ paper, with whiteout correcting errors and features reals stamps and signatures. Makes the documents issued on standard 80 gsm white paper with standard images look like rubbish. I will be hanging this on my wall.
Nepal recently upgraded the web presence and I was able to obtain the form and provide the information required to obtain the licence remotely using email. Still required assistance to make the payment and pickup the final document. This was only necessary as my itinary was tight. I was able to enlist the assistance of Nirmal from “Himalayan Magic Adventures”. (firstname.lastname@example.org) Having a local contact was invaluable given the changes we had to make to flights and ultimately to plans as the weather prevented the flights into Lukla.
This process took 6 weeks from the first email to receiving the licence. This process takes time. The ministry was helpfull during the process and at no stage did it appear they would not issues a licence, just need to follow the process. I understand can be completed in a couple of days if you are onsite and have all the required infomation. My timelines did not support additional days so I did the groundwork remotely.
Next time I will be completing the required forms remotely and allocating a couple of days to complete the process. It would be nice to meet the people involved. Time and process has its own charm in Nepal.
To obtain a Radio License to operate in Nepal (9N) you need to engage Ministry of Information and Communications situated in Singhadurbar Katmandu and apply to Ms. Renu Shakya. The ministry can be contacted either directly at:
Ministry of Communications
or via the web from
Ms. Renu Shakya’s current contact details are available from the ministries website – http://www.moic.gov.np/contacts.php
There is only one form to complete that can be download from – http://www.moic.gov.np/application-forms/application_for_license_of_amateur_radio.pdf
This form requires information describing your intentions and type of equipment. Not a lot of information so be short and direct. Here are the responses I used,
1.Objectives for being amateur radio control operator/ amateur radio director: Operate whilst on trek to Everest Base Camp May 2014
2.Place where the amateur radio is held, used/operated: Operate whilst in acclimatisation days during a trek to Everest Base camp from the Sagarmatha National Park. (Namche Bazaar, Dingboche and Gorek Shap)
3.Details of the amateur radio:
2.Knowledge about the amateur radio: Theoretical/practical: Current holder of Australia Standard Amateur Radio licence AOCP(S)Issued callsign – VK3HRA
3.Knowledge about electronics and radio communication: My knowledge is directly related to the recreational use of radio.Primary activity involves portable operations from summits.
4.Frequency to be used: 20M and 40M CW
5.System to be used: YouKits HB1B with endfed half wave dipole.
6.Transmitter power: 4 Watts
a. Attached copy of current; Amateur Operator’s Certificate of Proficiency (Standard) (AOCP( S))Passport and Visa for entry into Nepal
b. Web site describing my current radio activities:vk3hra.wordpress.com (https://vk3hra.wordpress.com/category/nepal/)
You will need to provide copies of,
- Your passport
- A Valid VISA for Nepal
- Your amateur license from your home country.
so I sent scanned copies of the documents via email and followed up with physical copies sent directly to Ms. Shakya via snail mail. Included cover letters describing my intentions and experience which were translated into Nepali via Google translate. I don’t know if this helped but was worth having a go.
Once your intentions are confirmed and the form filled out, Ms. Shakya will direct you to make a deposit into a government bank account. This is where the local assistance is required if you are not physically present. Nirmal made the deposit and took the receipt to the ministry where the licence was issued for the term of my valid visa. You will also receive forms allowing the radio equipment to be brought into the country. I showed copies of these forms at customs on arrival in Nepal and had no issues with the radio.
Unfornatually I was not able to complete my trek to EBC as planned due to bad weather so headed up in the Annapurna region instead. As I was not able to spend the time having the licence reissued and had no desire to break the conditions, I did not operate my radio. The WFF rules are for legal activations so would not have been a valid operation. I did not want to create a bad situation for any others applying by breaking the conditions and as I intend to return next year to have another go at EBC, will be chasing another licence in 2015.
Time takes on a different pace in Nepal.
Whilst Nepal does not a reciprocal licence program there were no issues with obtaining a temporary licence.
This was my second trek and I intend to go back for another. The hills are magnificent. My next trip will have time allocated to allow for weather and process and to operate my radio from the Sagarmatha National Park (WFF – 9NFF-007).