Kathmandu, February 14
Nepal’s telephone penetration or tele-density has reached 141.8 per cent so far, thanks to the aggressive expansion of telecom services by telecom companies across the country in recent years.
As per the latest management information system (MIS) report of Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), subscription of voice telephony service (fixed, mobile and others) has reached 37.5 million in the country till mid-December, 2017.
The telephone penetration measures the percentage of a country’s population with access to telephony services as determined by the subscriber base.
Though subscription of telephone services has exceeded the country’s population, it cannot be said that every citizen in the country has access to telephone service as many customers use more than one SIM card and many have installed more than one fixed PSTN line.
The telephone penetration rate is calculated based on national census of 2011, which put Nepal’s total population at 26.49 million.
The MIS report of NTA states that of the 37.5 million subscribers of telephone service in the country, almost 3.6 million (135.5 per cent) have subscribed to mobile phones, while 860,013 (3.25 per cent) are subscribers of fixed lines.
Meanwhile, 804,188 (3.04 per cent) people have subscribed to other telephone services like Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS).
The MIS report shows that Nepal Telecom (NT) tops the chart in terms of telephone subscribers with 18.5 million subscribers of its voice telephony service. Similarly, private telecom company Ncell has been chasing NT with almost 16.5 million subscribers of the company’s telephone service.
While Smart Telecom stands third with 1.7 million subscribers of the company’s telecom service, United Telecom Ltd (UTL) has 526,873 telephone subscribers and secures fourth place.
Of the six telecom companies in the country, Nepal Satellite Telecom and CG Communication stand at fifth and sixth positions in terms of the company’s voice telephony service with 328,538 subscribers and 2,987 subscribers, respectively.
Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson for NTA, said that telecom companies have been aggressively expanding their telephone services in the recent years, which have been increasing country’s tele-density rapidly.
“Though the increasing penetration rate of telephone services is a testimony that people’s access to telephone services is increasing, the concrete tele-density in the country is difficult to calculate as many customers have been using more than one SIM card of different telecom companies,” said Aryal.
A version of this article appears in print on February 15, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.