NTA is planning on slashing interconnection charges on phone calls. The telecom authority is implementing “Nepal Interconnection Guidelines 2076” from Magh 1 that will see the service fees reduced by 0.44 paisa. Interconnection fees are a type of charge one mobile company pays to another when a call is established between two separate networks.
NTA made the decision to drop the interconnection charges on calls after its board meeting on Kartik 29.
Previously, the telecom operators paid 0.54 paisa when a call was made from one to another mobile network in Nepal. NTA has now fixed the charges at 0.10 paisa per minute.
After this implements, the interconnection calls would drop by 0.44 paisa when a call is made between Nepali telcos. This includes calls among Nepal Telecom (NTC), Ncell, and Smart Cell.
The slashed interconnection charges will apply from Magh 1 onwards. This shall reduce the costs of off-net mobile calls on both prepaid and post-paid services.
Currently, the inter-operator call charges on outgoing calls from NTC prepaid to other networks are Rs.2.00. The charge for NTC postpaid on outgoing calls is Rs.1.50 paisa per minute (excl. taxes). With the Interconnection 076 Guidelines, these off-net call charges will come down to Rs.1.56 for prepaid and Rs.1.06 paisa on postpaid SIM cards.
New charges (-0.44 paisa)
Revised Mobile Off-net call charges as per Nepal Interconnection Guidelines 2076
Meanwhile, the guidelines also make changes to Ncell’s off-net call charges. Previously, outgoing calls charges from Ncell to other mobile networks were Rs.1.99. This will drop to Rs.1.55 paisa after NTA implements the new costs policy. Smart Cell’s present off-net call costs of Rs.1.92 will also come down to Rs.1.48 after the new tariff sets in.
The revised interconnections charges were about to implement from Chaitra 2076. The subsequent effects on telcos’ incomes derailed it’s coming into effect. The COVID-19 had also subdued its applications. Now, NTA is strictly demanding that the telcos comply with the new tariffs.
The charges will enforce on domestic interconnection calls only. NTA says it will revise the interconnection charges on international calls after studying COVID-19’s effects on telcos and their income profiles.
Similarly, the guidelines also have a provision to limit the additional charges for domestic calls from fixed phones (landline) to fixed phones, mobile to fixed phones to a maximum of 20 paisa. Additional charges for fixed phone calls to mobile calls and that from mobile to mobile cannot go beyond 10 paisa.
After a 2 years delay, the Nepal Interconnection Guidelines will come into play and slash the current calls charges by 0.44 paisa. This will benefit the telephone users across all mobile networks across Nepal.
What is your opinion on the reduction of interconnection charges and the calls tariffs in Nepal in general? Do leave your valuable opinions in the comments below.