NTA has scrapped the limited mobility license of CG Telecom. Chaudhary Group (CG) owned a limited mobility license with which they operated mobile service with limited coverage in some areas.
NTA has announced the license scrap of CG communications Pvt. ltd (earlier known as STM Telecom Sanchar). CG Telecom forayed into the telecom sector by buying an 80% stake in STM telecom, a satellite-based rural telecom operator back in 2013.
What is Limited service mobility?
Using a Limited service mobility license, a service provider can operate mobile service in an area with limited mobility. Limited mobility means the mobile in an area or region can not roam to another region or area. For example, a SIM/number issued in one region cannot be used in another with its coverage or can be used with roaming charges. Earlier Nepal Telecom (NTC) and UTL used to own such limited mobility service in Nepal using CDMA technology.
As per the notice, the reason behind the license cancellation is the non-renewal of the license in time. CG Telecom had the license to serve mobile service in 40 districts. Whereas the license is canceled for 7 districts namely Baglung, Palpa, Kanchanpur, Dadheldhura, Baitadi, Bardiya, and Dailekh.
The company also owns a rural telephony service license that still exists. The company has been lobbying for the unified license which could permit them to launch 4G service in the whole country. CG telecom has also announced loudly for its partnership one with Turkish Life Cell for digital services. Similarly, they had another such announcement to partner with Huawei for telecom services including 5G.
The government once also decided to award the basic telephony license to the Chaudhary Group. But they could not operate the service due to the pending issues with NTA. NTA says they could not provide the license to CG unless the decision gets published in Nepal Rajpatra.
The inability to operate the mobile service also includes the availability of frequency spectrum to them. CG Telecom also filed a petition to Supreme Court to halt the spectrum auction of the residual frequency in 900/1800/2100 MHz. With a series of discussions and orders, Ncell has already won the bid against Nepal Telecom for the spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.
With the announcement it is not clear whether they can request for review of the license cancellation to the Ministry of Communication and information technology (MoCIT) or straight to the cabinet.