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Nepal Telecom gets new GSM Cellular Service License

Nepal’s leading telecom giant Nepal Telecom (NTC) has received a new license to operate its GSM cellular mobile service for the next five years. The government nodded to grant it a new license after its 25-year service came to an end on Friday, Baisakh 28, 2081.

As there were lots of speculations about whether the company would get a new license, on Thursday, Baisakh 27, the council of ministers decided to reissue the telecom giant with a new license to continue its mobile services. The government directed the telco authority Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) to invoke Section 20 in the Telecommunication Act, 2053 (1997) which has the provision for the continuation of communication, information, and technology services. The very section’s Sub-Section 4 makes way for an existing company to let an existing person or corporation continue its services.   

Earlier, the company paid Rs 20 billion for its third license renewal in a lump sum. The Ntc board meeting on Baisakh 13, 2081 made the decision to pay the amount which was later criticized by the company’s workers’ unions NTEAN, NTCWU, NTEU, and NEONNT demanding that the company refrain from paying unless chances of it getting a new license are ensured. But after the government passed a favorable response, the company made the payment while also sorting the matters with its four workers’ unions. The company had started the process to obtain a new license on Magh 28, 2080 relating to the authority that it seeks to continue its service.

Also read: NTC offers for new prepaid SIM card users: Up to 1 GB of data, 100 minutes of voice, 100 SMS

Nepal Telecom gets new GSM cellular service license

NTA spokesman Santosh Paudel confirmed that NTA granted Nepal Telecom a new license for its GSM cellular mobile service. He shared that the authority granted the company a license for the next five years.

As per the Telco Act, 2053, a telecom company’s validity lasts 25 years with license renewal in between. But in the case of an entity whose majority of shares (over 50%) have been owned by a foreign citizen or firm, the government has the right to take over its assets and operate. This makes it difficult for Ncell whose 80% shares are owned by Spectrlite UK owned by Satish Lal Acharya, a Nepali-origin Singaporean national. Ntc, on the other hand, has 90% investment of the government.

With its 5-year license, Ntc begins a new life on Saturday, Baisakh 29, 2081. But things might be very interesting in 2086 BS when both Ntc and Ncell will see their license expire.

Ntc provides mobile and fixed-line broadband services across Nepal and continues to upgrade and expand telecommunication services.

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