Nepal poised to approve controversial unified licensing regime

3 May 2012

The government of Nepal is set to rubber stamp the implementation of the controversial universal licensing regime, although critics argue that the plan will only create increased uncertainty in the mountain Kingdom’s telecoms industry. The Himalayan News Service adds that the regulator, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), is accelerating its efforts to install the new provisions for unified licensing and has proposed a licence fee of NPR295 million (USD3.54 million), a renewal fee of NPR20 billion, 4% of annual income as a royalty payment and a 2% levy, to go to the national Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF). A spokesman for the NTA says that all six leading telecom service providers – Nepal Telecom (NT), Spice Nepal (Ncell), United Telecom Limited (UTL), STM Telecom Sanchar, Smart Telecom (Nepal) and Nepal Satellite Telecom (NST) – will be issued with licences under the new provisions.