Eight foreign firms show interest to provide telecom infrastructure service

Kathmandu, December 8

Eight foreign telecommunication firms have expressed their interest to provide telecommunications infrastructure service in Nepal.

As per Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), eight firms from countries like the United States, India, China, Lebanon, Nigeria and Malaysia have purchased the request for proposal (RfP) documents from the authority showing their willingness to obtain telecommunications infrastructure service licence in Nepal.

Publishing a notice on November 3, the telecommunications sector regulator of the country sought RfP from interested and eligible firms — both domestic and foreign — to provide telecommunications infrastructure service in the country and promote sharing of telecom infrastructure.

“Though domestic firms have not shown any willingness to provide telecommunications infrastructure services, foreign telecommunication firms are increasingly purchasing RfP from NTA. NTA expects that those who have taken RfP will gradually submit applications seeking the telecom infrastructure service licence,” said Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson for NTA.

As per Aryal, interested firms can submit their applications for telecommunication service licence till December 17.

NTA has plans to initially issue telecommunications infrastructure service licence to two eligible firms.

This is the first time that the government is gearing up to issue licence for the purpose. By issuing the telecommunications infrastructure service licence, NTA aims to promote the culture of telecommunications infrastructure sharing in the country and reduce the cost of telecommunication services.

Currently, telecommunication service providers in the country have been developing their own infrastructure to cater telecommunication services across the country. As a result of this, telecom services are costlier in Nepal.

“Telecom service providers have been using independent infrastructure to cater services at present. As developing independent infrastructure requires huge investment, this has made telecom services costlier in the country,” said Aryal.