January 26, 2020, Kathmandu
Nepal Telecommunications Authority recently released Interconnection Directive-2076′, which arranges calls from one company’s network to another so that the service is cheaper. Starting from Chaitra 20th, calls to varying networks within Nepal and calls from abroad will become cheaper.
When two different Network providers connect for a phone call made by users of those companies, the call needs to be interconnected. The companies charge the users an extra fee for the interconnection hence making these calls costly. According to Nepal Telecommunication Authority spokesman and director Min Prasad Aryal, the service provider company must reduce the call price once the directive is implemented. He said, “The customer should also get the benefit once the interconnection fee paid by the network provider companies is reduced. The profit margin of these providers increases automatically as the interconnection fee is reduced; hence it is mandatory that they reduce the charges they impose.”
Different countries have been removing such charges in recent times. But in Nepal, as the use of the internet has increased at a steady pace, the government has gradually adopted a policy to eliminate it.
Calls from abroad will also be cheaper after this directive is implemented. The telecommunication authority also for the first time has fixed the interconnection fee for calls coming from abroad. Before this, the service providers used to specify the interconnection fee as per their will.
The maximum inter-connection fee for calls coming from abroad will be fixed at Rs.8, which will decrease annually. The fee will reach Rs. 1.8 after 8 years.
The new directive has also reduced interconnection charges for calls from mobile to mobile and from landline phones to mobile. Currently Rs. 0.54 is being charged for both these interconnections, which will remain effective till Chaitra. Once the directive is implemented, the charge will be dropped to Rs. 0.1 per minute.
Current phone calls from Nepal Telecom prepaid to Ncell costs Rs. 1.50 per minute, this charge will drop to Rs. 1.06. However, calls from mobile to landline will be slightly expensive. The interconnection fee currently on such calls is currently Rs. 0.14 per minute, which will be increased to Rs. 0.2 starting from Chaitra 20.