Nepal set to approve unified licensing scheme : Report

The Nepalese government is set to approve the unified licensing proposal. Furthermore, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has stepped up efforts for the new regime, The Himalayan Times reports. The regulator proposed a licensing fee of NPR 295 million, a licence renewal fee of NPR 20 billion, royalty of 4 percent of income, and has set 2 percent of income for the Rural Telecommunication Development Fund. All six telecom service providers — Nepal Telecom, Ncell, UTL, Nepal Satellite, Smart, and STM — would acquire the licence with the same provisions after the unified licensing scheme takes effect. However, an unnamed ministry official told the paper that it is not practical to set the same licence renewal fee for the new licence when the regulator cannot collect the fee currently from providers. Furthermore, the unified licence proposal is silent on the contentious GSM spectrum issue. The NTA cannot provide GSM spectrum to all six providers under the new provision.