UTL (United telecom limited), the CDMA based telecom operator of Nepal gets basic telephony license through unified licensing regime through which they can operate any telecommunication services throughout Nepal for a license fee and renewal fee in ten years. In a bid to make level playing field to all other operators and make the telecom market more competitive, NTA has decided to issue unified license back in 2013.
As UTL has now paid the pending fees (Frequency fees, Royalty, Renewal fees etc), Nepal Telecommunication Authority has given nod to the operator for the basic telephony license. United telecom is a joint venture of three Indian telecom company, namely Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), Telecommunication Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL) and Tata Communications Pvt. Ltd from India and Nepal Ventures Pvt. Ltd (having 20 percent share) owned by Ragubir Mahasheth and July Mahato.
UTL has been operating CDMA based limited mobility service in 40 districts of Nepal , covering 140 places and was not expanding for a long time due to the protest inside the company and the NTA’s unwillingness to give basic telephony license due to the pending fees. Now after getting the basic telephony license, UTL can operate GSM service throughout the country. Though the frequency is almost occupied in GSM, it is not known how the operator gets some chunk of frequency in either 900 MHz or 1800 MHz to operate the network. As most of the customers are based in GSM family and the further generation are also evolving on it, all of the prospective operator would like to invest their money in the network based on it.
UTL has already submitted their rollout plan to expand their service throughout the country. With the basic telephony license, the limited mobility feature will be removed and customers can now easily roam from one place to another. According to the latest MIS, UTL has got around 5 lakhs customers, including fixed phones (WLL) and Limited mobility service. The number range of UTL starts with 972 for mobile and 012 for WLL fixed phones.