Spice Nepal stumps up USD2.7m in royalty fees
Amid growing pressure from the government to clear its royalties payments backlog, Spice Nepal (Mero Mobile) of Nepal, has finally paid NPR219.4 million (USD2.7 million) to the government – equivalent to 4% of the gross annual income of the operator. Spice Nepal, which launched commercially in September 2004, had agreed to pay either 4% of income or yearly royalties fixed at NPR15 million, whichever was higher, in the first year of operation. The amount was to rise to NPR42 million in the second year of operation; NPR100 million in the third; NPR200 million in the fourth; and NPR265 million in the fifth. However, to date Spice, which is the second largest mobile phone operator in the country with around 1.6 million subscribers, has only paid NPR150 million.