State-owned operator Nepal Telecom (NT) has joined its rival, privately owned GSM provider Spice Nepal Private (Ncell), in making its first instalment payment on its licence renewal fee, MyRepublica reports. The telco’s announcement that it will clear its renewal fees on an instalment basis is welcome news to the government; NT should have renewed its licence two years ago, but has been heel-dragging on making any payment, saying it would only clear the fee after the private operator did so. NT chairman Surya Silwal told reporters: ‘The board meeting of NT … decided to pay the renewal fee in instalments. NT too will pay the first instalment of the renewal fee within a week.’ The telco has paid NPR2.5 billion (USD28.96 million) as the first payment and will pay the remaining NPR17.5 billion on annual payment basis. Another privately-owned Nepalese operator, United Telecom Limited (UTL), renewed its operating licence about three months ago, paying NPT204.18 million as the first instalment.