NTA plans to bring in foreign teleco firm

Kathmandu, August 6

Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) is preparing to issue telecommunication service licence to a foreign firm in a bid to make the telecommunication sector more competitive.

As a few domestic telecom firms that have acquired telecommunication service licence have neither been performing well nor clearing due taxes to the government, the telecommunication sector regulator is mulling to open telecommunication service licence to foreign players.

Similarly, NTA’s plan to bring in a foreign telecommunication firm in the country is also backed by the failure of Nepal Telecom, Ncell and Smart Telecom — the three major players in the country’s telecommunication sector — to make their services competitive.

These three telecom firms command over 98 per cent share in country’s telephone service market.

Purshottam Khanal, chairman of NTA, said that the regulator will scrap the licence of those firms that have not been providing services despite taking telecommunication service licence from NTA and award the same licence to a foreign firm.

As of today, United Telecom and Hello Nepal, among others, have not been focusing on telecommunication services and are yet to clear dues worth billions of rupees to the government.

“We have repeatedly appealed to these firms to clear their dues and expand telecommunication services. However, as these firms are not abiding by the direction of NTA, we will have to scrap their licences,” added Khanal.