NTA to soon detect int’l telecom traffic on its own

Kathmandu, October 10

The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) is preparing to develop a mechanism that monitors international calls (to and from Nepal) of domestic telecom companies in a bid to ensure that the government receives the right amount of revenue via international call traffic.

Due to lack of a mechanism to monitor international telecommunication traffic, the government has been collecting revenue from domestic telecom firms for international calls on the basis of rates and volume of international calls as declared by the telecom companies.

Meanwhile, NTA — the telecommunication sector regulator — has recently sought applications from interested foreign firms to provide consultancy service to NTA in this regard.

Publishing a notice on October 6, NTA called for applications from interested organisations for the design, development, supply, installation of hardware and software, and to provide operation and management services to monitor/measure international telecommunications traffic.

Interested firms for the aforementioned consultancy service to NTA will have to submit their proposals to NTA within November 6.

“We are basically trying to develop a system that detects international calls (to and from Nepal) at the international gateway itself. As we have been receiving complaints of different illegal calls in Nepal, the system will also be able to track such illegal calls,” said Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson for NTA.

Once NTA has its own mechanism to monitor international calls, Aryal said that it will help the government to earn more revenue from telecom companies.

The government is currently earning revenue worth Rs 150 annually on average from two telecom giants — Nepal Telecom and Ncell — according to NTA.

Once NTA has its own international call detecting system, it will ensure accountability in the revenue from international calls that domestic telecom companies are currently paying to the government.

Domestic telecom operators are obliged to pay taxes to the government under different headings like Telecom Service Charge (TSC), Value Added Tax (VAT) and Rural Telecommunications Development Fund (RTDF), among others.

Aryal informed that the consultant that is selected for the aforementioned task will be responsible to provide real time data on local and international traffic volume, tracking and detecting bypass fraud and illegal operators, and determining the quality of service for both local and international telecommunications traffic.