Nepalese rural telecoms service provider STM Telecom, also known as Gramintel, has submitted an application to the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) for a unified operating licence – making it the third firm to apply behind United Telecom Limited (UTL) and Smart Telecom. UTL filed its application in October last year, while Smart followed suit a month later. The unified licence regime, introduced in May 2012, allows telecoms operators to operate a range of services, including fixed line, GSM (mobile) and international long-distance calls through a single concession upon payment of an NPR357.5 million (USD4.21 million) fee. In addition, they are required to pay an NPR20.13 billion renewal fee after ten years, and then every five years after that. If successful in its bid, STM Telecom will receive 3MHz of frequency from the NTA with which to operate GSM services.
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