Smart Cell has demanded that it should get similar installment payments for its dues as Ncell and Ntc. The financially stricken telco has penned a letter to NTA seeking a favorable reprieve in its last-ditch effort to save the company.
Smart Cell has written to NTA seeking an 8 installment payment to fulfill its license renewal payment. Government-backed NTC and private carrier Ncell has been afforded similar payment facility in Nepal so far.
The telco’s survivability is in question after it has failed to pay its arrears. Telecom regulator NTA, on the other hand, is prepping to revoke Smart’s license and relocate the spectrum. But it could still fancy a reprieve from the authority.
Smart Cell’s letter to NTA
The letter comes in its response to NTA seeking clarification from the bankrupt telco. On Falgun 30th, the Board meeting of NTA had sought clarification from Smart on why it should not revoke the carrier provider’s license. Smart Cell has written the letter in response to that calling for similar treatment in the regulator’s approach towards license renewal terms.
Earlier, Nepal Telecom and Ncell had the facility to pay the first renewal fee in eight installments within five years after 10 years. Generally, you have to pay the renewal fee before renewing the license of any service.
Earlier, Nta had allowed Ntc and Ncell to pay their first license renewal fees in eight installments within five years. But for this, both companies must have surpassed 10 years after receiving the license renewal.
Ntc, and Ncell however, paid in eight installments within the next five years after the first renewal liabilities paid after 10 years of acquiring the permission.
Here, Smart Cell has seen itself as biased by the regulator. For Smart, it has to pay all the dues before the first renewal after 10 years. That is now the company needs to pay NRS 10 billion beforehand.
The telco has demanded equal treatment on installment payments here.
Besides, there was also the talk of Smart Cell’s frequency going into CG’s radar. But none of these happened yet. So, There could still be a chance that Smart Could further its life span.
And in its efforts to salvage the company, Smart has claimed that it is bringing in foreign investment soon. And for this, it has called on Nta not to revoke its license, said Nta spokesman Santosh Poudel.
UAE-based stoniva is thought to be bringing in investment which could prove to be Smart’s lifeline for its survival. The company has also submitted documents to Nta for credibility.
Smart Cell has yet seen its finances going downhill for years. And now its arrears to Nta has reached NPR 8 billion. It has not been able to pay even in the NTA afforded 5 installments facility. Likewise, the company’s dues on license renewal, frequency charges, royalties, and RTDF have reached NPR 2.5 billion.