Nepal Telecom switches landline phones to prepaid billing

Nepal Telecom has implemented real-time-billing system for its Public Switched Telephone Network service, popularly known as landline phone service, from today.

Implementation of such system means that NT’s landline phone subscribers will now have to deposit certain amount in advance at the NT office to use the PSTN service.

Real-time-billing is also popularly referred to as pre-paid system in telecommunication services.

Earlier, landline phone users of Nepal Telecom used to settle bills after using the service and NT had not fixed any credit limit for its landline phone customers.

However, now that NT has enforced the pre-paid system for PSTN service, customers will be required to deposit certain amount before using the PSTN service and consumers will not be able to use the service exceeding the credit limit. “We have enforced the real-time-billing system for PSTN service in a bid to make the service more effective. This move is also a part of NT’s long-awaited plan to switch all of its services to real-time billing system,” said Prativa Baidhya, spokesperson for NT.

Along with this, all telecommunication services of NT except post-paid GSM service now follow the real-time-billing system, which is believed to be more efficient and transparent.

However, NT officials have hinted that they will not start cutting connections of customers abruptly for the next few days as majority of PSTN customers are unaware of the new system.

Until now, NT had been charging its PSTN customers a monthly rental of Rs 200 letting customers make an average of up to 175 phone calls, depending on the time (peak hours or off-hours) that a customer makes the calls. NT customers will now have to deposit a minimum of Rs 200 to use the PSTN service. Baidhya said PSTN customers could fix their credit limit themselves from now on.

In case a subscriber uses total credit before the month ends and the phone network is disconnected, Baidhya said PSTN customers could top up their balance using NT recharge cards or e-banking services. However, NT will alert customers when they are about to exceed their credit limit. NT officials said PSTN customers would have to renew their credit on the first day of the Nepali month.

Meanwhile, NT has also urged its landline customers to dial 1498 for additional information about the new system and give feedback.

NT’s statistics show that there are almost 600,000 customers of PSTN service of the company.

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