Nepal to award third GSM licence

Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) is preparing to welcome a new GSM operator in the market in a bid to increase competition among players and bring about benefits and opportunities to the consumers, a top NTA official said on Wednesday.

“Over the years, Nepal Telecom´s condition has deteriorated badly, while the other operator from the private sector (Ncell) is growing without due competition. This has created imbalance in the market, which can not be expected to bring benefits to consumers,” said Digambar Jha, the newly appointed chairman of the NTA, said.

Talking to Republica, Jha the introduction of another GSM operator from the private sector was critical, as it would help the country to do away with present imbalance and enhance competition in the market.

Jha said the authority was shortly awarding GSM license to one of the operators among the existing three rural telecom operators or limited mobility service (LMS) operator by issuing the Unified License to it.

“Instead of introducing a new player, we will award the license to one of the existing operators,” he said, hinting that Smart Telecom or UTL that have already applied for Unified License will get the authority´s approval soon.

Smart Telecom, a rural telecom operator, had applied for unified license about two weeks ago, while UTL, which has been operating mobile service through LMS license, had applied for it in October.

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