Nepal’s regulator to get tough on illegal VoIP providers

1 Mar 2012

National telecoms watchdog the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) is preparing new regulations in a bid to crack down on operators using illegal call bypass centres for voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) telephony services. The Himalayan News Service writes that authorised fixed telephony providers are losing significant revenues as a result of the practise, in reaction to which, the NTA has started calculating the losses incurred and even arrested some individuals accused of offering VoIP services illegally. An NTA official is quoted as saying that the agency will now develop a procedure on how to recoup the amounts lost due to illegal VoIP activity, and invited public opinion on the new regulation and a possible tariff of fines. In addition, the NTA is recommending that the government impose a ban on the import of equipment used for VoIP operations, without the prior consent of the regulator. ‘It is a must to regulate the import of equipment since VoIP is a completely technical issue and illegal operators take advantage due to the lack of knowledge among the general public,’ it said.

In other Nepal news, figures published by the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) in its Management Information System Report No. 58 (Poush, 2068, 14 January, 2012), show that the country was home to 15.327 million fixed and mobile telephony users at that date, up from 15.034 million at 14 December 2011 (Nepal calendar: Magh, 2068), a combined teledensity of 57.56% (up from 56.46%). Fixed lines (including PSTN and WiLL) reached 847,724 my mid-January and mobile (GSM and CDMA) totalled 13.604 million. There were also 872,902 LMS and 1,742 GMPCS lines in service it said. In the data/internet segment, the NTA reported a total of 78,390 ADSL connections at 14 January, as well as 31,146 wireless or fibre-optic users, 17,112 cable modem internet accounts and more than 3.8 million people accessing the web via sub-broadband GPRS or CDMA2000 1x devices.