Nepal | July 16, 2020

Tepid growth in 4G service subscription

Factors like affordability and inadequate internet content hit expansion

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Minister for Information and Communications Surendra Kumar Karki (second from right) at the launch of Nepal Telecom’s 4G service, in Kathmandu on January 1, 2017. Photo: Balkrishna Thapa Chhetri/THT

Kathmandu, June 23

Though different telecom companies have introduced the 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) service with much fanfare in the country, there has been tepid growth in the subscription of 4G service by mobile phone users.

Nepal Telecom (NT) had first introduced 4G service for its post-paid SIM users of Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara on January 1 and the company had rolled out the service for its pre-paid SIM users on February 4.

However, only 7,729 post-paid SIM subscribers and 508,500 pre-paid SIM subscribers of NT have switched to 4G service in Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara till date. The 4G subscription figure is comparatively low as NT has more than four million pre-paid SIM users and 350,000 post-paid SIM users in Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara.

“Subscription to 4G service is growing but very slowly. This might be due to affordability factor as internet services are comparatively costly in Nepal,” said Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson for Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), adding that Nepali mobile phone users are also left with less option regarding internet content.

As Nepal is still in the infancy phase of digitisation, Aryal opined that people are less friendly to internet and its multi-dimensional use.

“The concepts of e-governance, e-medicine, e-commerce and e-agriculture, among others, have to be practiced in Nepal and internet content should be generated accordingly to encourage people towards internet. This is how people will start consuming telecom and internet services,” Aryal added.

As per NTA, the tepid growth of 4G subscription is also due to limitation of frequency spectrum to telecom companies. As a result of limited frequency to telecom operators, they have been able to provide only 30 mbps internet speed on 4G service though 4G should have around 90 mbps internet speed.

Shovan Adhikari, deputy spokesperson for NT, said that 4G subscription is directly related to the availability of 4G compatible mobile sets in the country and internet content. “We have low internet content and every subscriber does not carry a 4G compatible phone. The 4G subscription rate will surge along with an increase in the number of 4G compatible devices and internet content,” he said.

“Though 4G subscription growth is not overwhelming, it is growing satisfactorily,” added Adhikari.

Similarly, private telecom company Ncell, which launched its 4G service on May 31, has been encouraging its subscribers to switch to 4G service. As only new SIM subscribers of Ncell — with the Axiata logo — can subscribe to 4G service,
the company has been making subscribers’ old SIM cards compatible to 4G free of cost through different Ncell outlets.

A version of this article appears in print on June 24, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 116 new cases, 697 recoveries, one death recorded on Wednesday

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 298,829 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method have been carried out, Read More...

Nepali photo-journalists condemn unprofessional behaviour of media houses during crisis

KATHMANDU: Photo Journalist Club (PJC) and National Forum of Photo Journalists (NFPJ) have condemned the attitude of media houses failing to provide professional security to working photo-journalists amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. On Wednesday, PJC and NFPJ jointly issued a press release sta Read More...


Twitter silences some verified accounts after wave of hacks

SAN FRANCISCO - Multiple high-profile Twitter accounts were hijacked on Wednesday, with some of the platform's top voices - including U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, former U.S. President Barack Obama and billionaire Elon Musk, among many others - used Read More...

2.36 million Nepalis scared of losing home or land

KATHMANDU, JULY 15 Around 2.36 million adult Nepalis expect to be forced out of their homes against their will in the next five years, a ground-breaking study has shown. Nepal’s scorecard, however, is relatively better than the global average, in which about one in five adults (19 per cent) Read More...

High-profile twitter accounts hacked in Bitcoin scam

KATHMANDU: In an episode of a very conspicuous security breach on a social media site, a wave of high-profile Twitter account hacks to offer fake Bitcoin deals sent alerts flying in the wee hours Thursday. The official Twitter accounts of billionaires Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos were h Read More...

Armed Police Force Senior Superintendent of Police held on rape charge

POKHARA, JULY 15 Police today arrested an Armed Police Force Senior Superintendent of Police on the charge of raping a woman in Kaski. Acting on the complaint of the victim, a police team led by Superintendent of Police Jevan Kumar Shrestha of Kaski District Police Office arrested SSP Rajendra Read More...

Twitter Hack Update: Coordinated social engineering attack, says Twitter

KATHMANDU: Multiple high profile Twitter accounts were hacked in the wee hours of Thursday morning, soliciting Bitcoin donations. Accounts of millionaires, US politicians, musicians and corporations were compromised in the crypto currency scam. Initially, Twitter prevented at least some verifi Read More...

PM Oli's Ayodhya claim ends possibility of talks with India: Nepali Congress VP

KATHMANDU: Nepali Congress Vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi has termed Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s claim that Thori village in Parsa is the real Ayodhya and the birthplace of Lord Ram baseless, irrelevant and objectionable. Nidhi said both Hindus and non-Hindus accepted from time immemorial t Read More...