UTL hit once again by government clampdown

10 Apr 2006

United Telecom Ltd (UTL), a joint venture between Indian firms Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Telecommunications Consultants India, as well as Nepali partner Nepal Venture Private Ltd, has received a fresh blow to its business plans for Nepal, after King Gyanendra’s government shut down its limited mobility network less than a fortnight after it re-launched. The King closed down the service citing the fight against terrorism as the reason. UTL is the first private operator in Nepal’s telecom sector, having launched a fixed wireless phone service in 2003. On 26 March 2006 it launched a limited mobility service in a bid to reduce call rates in the Kingdom, but twelve days in, its fledgling service has been suspended as part of a wider clampdown and curfew imposed to help suppress protests in the capital.