You can now make free ‘Toll-Free’ calls to any network in Nepal from any phone network. The NTA implemented the rule through a change to the Short Codes Action Plan.
The adjustment, according to the regulator, makes toll-free lines and services more efficient and effective. The update of the Short Code and Toll-Free Number Management Action Plan, 2077, was during the Board meeting on March 25th.
As a result of the modifications, you can now dial a toll-free number from one telecom provider to another for free.
Revision of Action Plan
The NTA board has resolved to delete the former action plan’s sub-section (gha) from Section 3. On the other hand, the regulator has made amendments to section 4’s sub-section (ka), which establishes new use cases for toll-free lines.
Similarly, the new modifications will assist to bring uniformity to toll-free numbers. A toll-free number must now have 11 digits. Subsection (ka) also specifies that any business can use toll-free phones to deliver information to their clients. This revision greatly assists in toll-free calls for free in Nepal.
Different number ranges will be accessible for domestic and foreign toll-free numbers
There are two categories of Toll-free numbers,i.e. domestic and international. Previously, the toll-free number for the United States began with the number 1660. With the new revisions, they will now begin with the number 1810, followed by an operator code. The toll-free service provider would be represented by the remaining 6 numbers.
International toll-free numbers would also begin with 1800. A toll-free number in Nepal can be provided by any foreign company that provides a service to Nepali customers.
Importantly, Section 7’s Subsection (gha) indicates that consumers will be able to dial toll-free lines for free while calling from one network to another network’s toll-free number. There will be the establishment of interconnection among the carrier providers for this.
The public would be able to dial any toll-free number, regardless of the service provider. This serves as an advantage. Previously, if the caller and the toll-free number were not on the same network, the call would not always go through.
For Toll-Free calls, reverse interconnection
The NTA has emphasized making toll-free service practically free, with a new set of adjustments. For this reason, there is the inclusion of a section by the regulator allowing for reverse interconnection.
With reverse interconnection, whenever a toll-free number offered by one operator receives a call from another, the former must pay the latter a fee. That is, if you call a toll-free number on another network, the amount will not be removed from your primary balance.
That effectively turns the toll-free number into a free call, which hasn’t been the case for long.
According to NTA Director Ambar Sthapit, the regulator has informed network providers about new toll-free number modifications. To comply with new changes, service providers will gradually modernize their systems. This could take anywhere from a few weeks to months.
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