State-run telecom firm MNTL has roped in SBI Capital Markets to evaluate feasibility of investments in its Nepal based joint venture telecom operator United Telecom Limited. Also Read - Let our firms take part in 5G trials, China tells India
“MTNL has appointed SBI CAP to assist it in deciding whether to invest further in to UTL which is planning to acquire new telecom licence in Nepal for providing GSM based mobile telephony service,” an official source said. UTL is a joint-venture between MTNL, Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL), Tata Communications and Nepalese firm Nepal Ventures Private limited. MTNL holds majority stake in UTL with 26.68 percent stake. TCIL and Tata Communications hold 26.66 percent each and NVPL holds 20 percent stake in UTL. Also Read - DoT permits telecom service providers to go ahead with 5G trials
UTL was incorporated in 2001 and has presence in 44 out of about 75 districts. Nepal’s mobile services market is dominated by Swedish telecom major TeliaSonera’s arm NCell with 57 percent market share and state-run Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited with 43 percent market share. UTL has only 2 percent market share in voice telephony business with about 5 lakh customer base. The company is into landline business which has seen decline due to advent of mobile telephony business. MTNL has to take call on whether it would be viable for UTL to venture in to mobile telephony when target market will be same set of subscribers held by NDCL and NCell. Current teledensity in Nepal is estimated around 88 percent. Also Read - BSNL takes over MTNL network in Delhi, Mumbai: Will 4G services launch now?