The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) is to direct fixed-wireless and limited mobility service provider United Telecom Limited (UTL) to compensate its customers for a series of network outages which occurred during an industrial dispute in January-March this year. A report from eKantipur says this is the first time the regulator will issue one of the country’s telcos with an order to provide such compensation. The official order from the NTA is expected in the next few days, the report suggests. The watchdog wants UTL to extend the validity of pre-paid vouchers, while giving post-paid users a free month line rental. For its part, UTL has already said that it is planning some form of compensation for its subscribers.
Earlier this year UTL employees blamed management for network outages which hit customers in eastern and western regions of the country. Workers accused management of ‘tampering’ with equipment on purpose in an attempt to make employees look inefficient as they seek push through job cuts which would slash up to 60% of UTL’s workforce. Meanwhile, management responded by claiming that disgruntled employees were refusing to repair the damaged infrastructure. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, UTL is 80%-owned by three Indian firms – Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), Telecom Consultants India and Tata Communications – with the remaining 20% held by Nepal Ventures Ltd (NVL).