The Nepalese Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has reportedly pulled Smart Telecom’s licence again for failing to pay its renewal fee and associated fines on time.
Nepali Telecom reported the MNO failed to pay a NPR20 billion (US$151 million) renewal charge and NPR3 billion in late fees for failing to pay by April 16.
NTA chairman Purushottam Khanal said the operator’s licence had been canned 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, said Khanal. 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.