Nepal’s National Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has issued a new bylaw governing telecom infrastructure sharing and related charges. It is hoped the regulation, approved on 13 July, will enable the country’s operators to extend service coverage and lower consumer prices by reducing unnecessary investment in redundant infrastructure.
Under the new bylaw, a service provider cannot reject or delay a request for access from another company, while requests will be made on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and any infrastructure must be used within three months or the agreement will be cancelled. Companies granted shared access will also be prohibited from leasing the infrastructure to another service provider. The directive lists 18 different types of passive infrastructure for sharing, including fibre ports, dark fibre cabling, wireless network point to point data and base transceiver stations (BTS), and sets maximum monthly access charges. Assets deployed as part of the government subsidised Rural Telecoms Development Fund will be subject to lower fees than those owned by an operator.