NTA axes Smart Telecom’s licence

05 May 2023

The Nepalese Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has reportedly pulled Smart Telecom’s licence for failing to pay its renewal fee and associated fines on time.

Nepali Telecom said that the MNO failed to pay a NPR20 billion renewal charge and NPR3 billion in late fees for failing to pay by 16 April.

NTA chairman Purushottam Khanal said that Smart Telecom’s licence had been axed under the Telecommunications Regulation of 1997, which dictates that licenses are automatically expired when the renewal fee is not paid. The regulator also has the power to take ownership of the operator within 15 days. Smart has apparently launched legal action to challenge the decision.

The NTA had its decision to revoke Smart’s licence for the same reason in 2019, granting the operator’s request to pay in instalments, and extending the deadline to July 2021 and then January 2022.