National telecoms regulator the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has revoked the service providers’ licences of ISOS Ltd and Scom Ltd after both companies disappeared off the radar, The Himalayan Times reports. The watchdog said that in total, seven service providers had ‘gone missing’ since last year. ‘Out of them, four were issued licences in 2009 whereas two had got their operating licences in 2008,’ the NTA said. ‘We monitored the companies for nine months after we issued the licences but when we tried to reach them at the provided address and location they did not exist,’ added the agencies deputy director, Kailash Prasad Neupane. Telecoms service providers are required to pay an annual royalty and a Rural Telecom Development Fund (RTDF) fee, in addition to updating the watchdog on details such as the number of subscribers they have. However, the NTA spokesman says none of the firms involved followed this procedure. It is understood the five other companies involved — Fiber Online, Surfin, Putali Sadak, Netmax Technologies, Logic Information Business and Setlink Nepal — have contacted the regulator, have had their licences renewed and are in the process of sorting out the necessary legalities and conditions.
Separately, the NTA is preparing a study to release of 33MHz of spectrum for new operators, with the report expected to be made public once the findings are collated. ‘No new providers have approached us as yet and with the release of frequency by [United Telecom Limited] UTL we can issue licences to those interested in providing telecom services in the country,’ reiterated Neupane. ‘But that will take time.’