Kathmandu, July 22
The number of fourth generation (4G) mobile network users has reached 3.6 million within three years of being introduced in the country.
According to Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), the number has increased by 125 per cent compared to last year. The recently published Management Information System (MIS) report of mid-April to mid-May shows that the number stood at 1.6 million last year.
The 4G network was first introduced in Nepal on January 1, 2017 by Nepal Telecom (NT). Currently, NT, Ncell and Smart Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) are providing 4G service across the country. Among them, Ncell has the largest coverage of 4G service.
Based on the MIS report, there are a total of 2.6 million 4G subscribers of Ncell so far.
Likewise, NT and STPL have 762,945 and 174,816 4G users, respectively.
Although NT was the first to start 4G service in the country, till date it has been able to provide 4G service only in Kathmandu and Pokhara. However, Ncell is currently providing the service in 1,000 different locations of seven provinces.
Within two years of the 4G launch, Ncell has expanded the service in 44 districts. Similarly, STPL is providing 4G service in four major cities of the country — Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur and Pokhara.
Meanwhile, NT has been claiming that the 4G expansion project has now gathered pace and will be completed soon. After facing a lot of ups and downs and after several discussions with the government, the project is now finally running smoothly. NT has divided the 4G expansion project into three categories — Network I, Network II and Core Network. While the company has awarded the Network I and Network II categories of the project to CCSI, ZTE Corporation has been awarded the contract to develop necessary core network and radio access network for the expansion of 4G or Long Term Evolution (LTE) service.
Besides, the number of mobile data users reached 18.6 million in the review period compared to 14.3 million last year. Of the total number of data users, 10 million are 3G users while remaining 136,573 users are using networks that are below 3G capacity.
As per the MIS report, 63.31 per cent out of the total population are using internet service across the country. Of the total number of internet users, 49.65 per cent are mobile network users, 12.47 per cent are fixed broadband users, while 1.18 per cent are wireless broadband users.
A version of this article appears in print on July 23, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.