Nepal Telecom Granted New 5-Year License for GSM Cellular Mobile Service

KATHMANDU: In a crucial development for Nepal’s telecommunications landscape, Nepal Telecom has been granted a new license for GSM cellular mobile service. The announcement comes on the final day of the existing license’s cancellation deadline.

The Nepal Telecommunication Authority, the regulatory body overseeing telecommunications in the country, dispatched a letter to Nepal Telecom today, confirming the issuance of a fresh license valid for a period of five years. The decision, prompted by policy ambiguities surrounding license duration and fees, has been made to ensure continuity and regulatory clarity.

Pradeep Paudyal, Assistant Spokesperson of the Authority, affirmed the issuance of the new license, stating, “A letter has been sent to Telecom this afternoon stating that a new license has been issued for five years.”

This decision follows directives from a cabinet meeting held on Thursday, which instructed the Authority to renew Nepal Telecom’s license as the 25-year tenure of its existing license was set to expire on Friday.

Utilizing the authority vested in Section 20 of the Telecommunications Act, 2053, and in accordance with Section 33(4) of the same Act, the Council of Ministers mandated the issuance of the new license to ensure seamless telecommunication services.

Section 20 of the Act empowers the government to provide directives to regulate telecommunication services, while Section 33(4) allows for the re-operation of telecommunication services after the expiry of the operating license, provided certain criteria are met.

Nepal Telecom originally acquired the license for GSM cellular mobile service on the 29th of Baisakh, 2056 BS. Despite submitting an application to the authority on January 28 last year for a new license, uncertainty prevailed regarding the applicable fee and duration for re-issuance due to legislative gaps in the telecommunications law.

Given the absence of clear provisions, the Authority sought guidance from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. The Cabinet meeting, acknowledging the need for resolution, entrusted the Authority with the responsibility of determining the license terms.

“While telecom laws are being drafted, a five-year license has been issued,” revealed a source familiar with the Authority’s decision-making process.

The issuance of the new license underscores the government’s commitment to fostering a conducive regulatory environment for telecommunications and ensuring continued connectivity and service provision for the citizens of Nepal.

Fiscal Nepal |
Friday May 10, 2024, 05:43:48 PM |

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