Telcos ask NTA to extend spectrum fee payment deadline
KATHMANDU, Jan 16: Telecom companies and network service providers on Wednesday asked the regulatory authority to extend the frequency fee payment deadline and lower the spectrum fee.
Speaking at a meeting organized by the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), the telecom sector regulatory body, officials of six telecom operators requested the authority to provide at least nine months after the fiscal year-end to clear the frequency fee.
According to the Radio Frequency Distribution and Pricing Policy, service providers should clear the microwave frequency and minimum frequency fee within six months of the end of a fiscal year. Likewise, in case of operators, who are using additional frequency apart from the minimum frequency assigned as per the policy, the time frame is three months after the end of a fiscal year.
The six licensed telcos also inquired about the newly implemented pricing policy and the rationale of the fee structure during the meeting, according to the NTA.
After the implementation of the new policy, prices of radio frequency have gone up by up to 100 percent. Previously, frequency prices were fixed on the basis of Telecommunications Act 1997, which was charging nominal price.
According to the policy, if service providers fail to pay the fee within the given time, they will be charged additional 2 percent on the outstanding amount on monthly basis for six months. The authority also has the right to revoke the permission and withdraw the assigned frequency.
Not just that, the policy has also made it mandatory for operators to pay 3G spectrum fee. The previous policy was silent on the issue.
The authority, meanwhile, has asked for some time to analyze the policy prior to taking any decision. “We can review the proposal if necessary, but the policy cannot be reviewed until it is implemented,” NTA Acting Chairman Ananda Raj Khanal said.