NTA, the regulator for telecom sector in Nepal has directed two big telecom companies Ntc and Ncell to solve the interconnection issue. As they found 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 interconnection problem between telcos?
Interconnection between two separate operators allows the customer of one operator to make a call to customer of another operator. If there is an interconnection problem, customer in one operator cannot call smoothly to customer of another operator. Although there may be some technical capacity issue, NTA is citing the interconnection problem due to the blockage by operator themselves. The operators also have some sort of agreement in this interconnection issue, but they are quite silent for this sort of blocking.
As per the interconnection directives 2065, telcos are not allowed to block the telephone calls to another operator. NTA had already notified the operators for not to block the interconnection before. As known, customers complained to NTA for their suffer due to this issue. Upon performing some tests, NTA had found the call interconnection problem between Ntc and Ncell. So, NTA has now reminded the operators for 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) to 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 regulation for the international calls. Which allows the operators having more than 10 percent of total customers to use another operator’s gateway for international calls. Apart from the call between Ntc and Ncell, the small operators like Smart Telecom and UTL have also faced the 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.