NTA, the regulator for the telecom sector in Nepal has directed two big telecom companies Ntc and Ncell to solve the interconnection issue. As they found a problem in some calls from one telecom operator to another, NTA issues a letter to solve it as soon as possible. For example, NTA has found problems in making smooth calls either from Ntc to Ncell or Ncell to Ntc.
What is the interconnection problem between telcos?
Interconnection between two separate operators allows the customer of one operator to make a call to the customer of another operator. If there is an interconnection problem, the customer in one operator cannot call smoothly to the customer of another operator. Although there may be some technical capacity issues, NTA is citing the interconnection problem due to the blockage by the operators themselves. The operators also have some sort of agreement in this interconnection issue, but they are quite silent about this sort of blocking.
As per the interconnection directives 2065, telcos are not allowed to block telephone calls to another operator. NTA had already notified the operators not to block the interconnection before. As known, customers complained to NTA about their suffering due to this issue. Upon performing some tests, NTA found the call interconnection problem between Ntc and Ncell. So, NTA has now reminded the operators of the free flow of calls or else face the consequences.
Until the resolution of the interconnection issue, NTA will not do the facilitation works for the operators. Further, they can even penalize the operators for the sum of Rs 5 lakhs (0.5 million) for cancellation of their license.
POI (Point of interconnection) capacity
POI is the physical connection or link between two telecom operators. The calls from Ntc SIM is possible to Ncell SIM number, due to POI. The finite capacity for the interconnection between telcos is POI capacity.
The interconnection directives had the provision of expanding their POI capacity when it exceeds 75 percent. It also includes regulations for international calls. This allows the operators to have more than 10 percent of total customers to use another operator’s gateway for international calls. Apart from the call between Ntc and Ncell, small operators like Smart Telecom and UTL have also faced a call blockage to Ntc and Ncell for which they complained to the regulator. NTA believes that these POI, interconnection issue will be resolved as per the directives.
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