Govt plan for infrastructure sharing falls at first hurdle, paper says

12 Feb 2013

The Himalayan Times writes that the Nepalese government’s ambitions to see telecoms service providers sharing mobile towers, BTS, microwave equipment, fibre-optic networks and other ancillary equipment, have been derailed by the ongoing issue of naming a new chairman to head up the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA). Although government guidelines were endorsed last year that would have paved the way for a long-awaited infrastructure sharing mechanism between telcos, NTA director Ananda Raj Khanal points out that the process of putting it into reality – defining the regulations, authorisation procedure and licensing format – is impossible in the absence of a chairman at the regulator to oversee it.

‘The regulator cannot initiate the process until the government either appoints a chairman or [puts in place an] alternative mechanism with legal teeth to perform essential tasks at hand,’ he said. The infrastructure sharing plan is seen as a key tool to develop improved telecoms access in the mountainous country of Nepal. ‘It will lower their investments on infrastructure and they can invest on quality enhancement,’ he added.