Laxmi Capital News
4G service licensing issue under CIAA scanner

TheCommission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) is set to begin aprobe on the issuance of 4G (fourth generation) service licences to differentdomestic telecom companies in recent times.

Theanti-graft body is mulling to initiate the probe after a few complaints wereregistered at CIAA alleging huge corruption in related government agencieswhile issuing licences for 4G telecom service, also called ‘Long Term Evolution(LTE)’ service, to different telecom companies.

“Complaintshave been registered alleging financial irregularities while issuing 4G licenceto telecom companies. Similarly, the registered complaints also state that 4Glaunch in the country was untimely and the government should have directlylaunched 5G in the backdrop of different countries preparing to introduce thenext generation telecom service,” informed Padma Prasad Pandey, spokespersonfor CIAA, adding that the commission will soon start investigation over theallegations and look into the entire process of 4G launch and 4G licenceissuance to telecom companies.

NepalTelecommunications Authority (NTA) — the telecom sector regulator of thecountry — had first issued the 4G service licence to state-owned Nepal Telecom(NT) in October 2016. Subsequently, NT had rolled out 4G telecom service fromJanuary 1 last year.

Privatetelecom giant Ncell was the second company to get the 4G licence from thegovernment. NTA had granted the 4G service licence to Ncell in the first weekof May in 2017, when Ncell was facing controversy and criticism on taxclearance issue. The firm had launched its 4G service from the end of the samemonth.

Likewise,the government also gave the 4G service licence to Smart Telecom in May 2017,though the number of subscribers of Smart Telecom is quite low. The company hadformally launched its 4G service from October 28.

Whilethe probe report of CIAA shall determine whether or not there was corruption inthe process of issuing 4G service licence to telecom companies, NTA officialsrefused to comment on this matter.

Respondingto the second charge that the government should have waited and rolled out 5Ginstead of 4G, NTA Spokesperson Min Prasad Aryal said, “The jump from 3G to 5Gin Nepal is not contextual as this telecom service is yet to be launchedcommercially in the global telecom market.”

Source:The Himalayan Times, 21st February 2018


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