The Himalayan Times writes that the Nepalese government’s ambitions to see telecoms service providers sharing mobile towers, BTS, microwave equipment, fibre-optic networks and other ancillary equipment, have been derailed by the ongoing issue of naming a new chairman to head up the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA). Although government guidelines were endorsed last year that would have paved the way for a long-awaited infrastructure sharing mechanism between telcos, NTA director Ananda Raj Khanal points out that the process of putting it into reality – defining the regulations, authorisation procedure and licensing format – is impossible in the absence of a chairman at the regulator to oversee it.
‘The regulator cannot initiate the process until the government either appoints a chairman or [puts in place an] alternative mechanism with legal teeth to perform essential tasks at hand,’ he said. The infrastructure sharing plan is seen as a key tool to develop improved telecoms access in the mountainous country of Nepal. ‘It will lower their investments on infrastructure and they can invest on quality enhancement,’ he added.