Nepal - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

The high-speed broadband market gains momentum in Nepal

Over the years, efforts to expand the telecom sector in Nepal have met with many challenges. The fixed line market in Nepal remains underdeveloped. A major reason for this is due to the dominance of the mobile segment. Overall penetration reached only 2.8% in 2019.

The market is predicted to decrease slightly over the next five years to 2024 as the mobile segment continues to grow for both voice and data/broadband usage.

Fixed broadband penetration in Nepal remains very low mainly due to a limited number of fixed lines and the subsequent dominance of the mobile platform. Also, the declining number of fixed lines is restricting more widespread development of fixed broadband. However, the market has grown strongly over the past five years from a very small base with penetration increasing from 0.9% in 2014 to 3.9% in 2019.

Fibre-optic networks are developing all over the country under private and public funding. The growing demand for high speed internet will strongly push the development of fixed broadband. Over the next five years to 2024 strong growth is expected to continue. Fixed broadband penetration is predicted to reach 10% by 2024.

Between 2018 and 2019 numerous ISP announced contracts with Nokia to deploy fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in the country. This is in line with the government’s vision of a digital society, whereby 90% of the population will have access to broadband services by 2020.

The NTA announced the launch of the first Nepalese satellite in 2022. Thales Alenia Space will build the national satellite telecom system.

Nepal’s mobile market is now relatively developed and has experienced extraordinarily strong growth over the last years. Slower growth is predicted over the next five years to 2024. The market will be constrained from higher growth due to an already high penetration rate.

In November 2019, the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) took a drastic decision and revoked the licence of Nepal Satellite Telecom. The company has NPR1 billion in unpaid fees and other liabilities to the NTA. This is the first step in the fight between NTA and the telecommunication operators , as they all have unpaid fees.

Nepal has seen a very rapid increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past seven years driven by increasing numbers of 3G and 4G mobile subscribers. However, the mobile broadband market is still at an early stage of development with penetration well below most other Asian countries. Strong growth is predicted over the next five years to 2024.

Key developments:

  • Nepal has seen a very rapid increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past five years.
  • Strong growth in mobile broadband is predicted over the next five years to 2024 thanks to the development of 4G
  • Nepal's mobile market is now relatively developed and has experienced extraordinarily strong growth over the last six years.
  • Nepal satellite Telecom’s licence has been revoked
  • In 2022, Nepal will launch its first national Satellite
  • In 2019/2020 an important telecoms development is occurring for Nepal with the launch of the Kacific-1 satellite.

Companies mentioned in this report

Nepal Telecom; NDCL; United Telecom Ltd (UTL); Ncell; TeliaSonera; STM Telecom; Nepal Satellite Telecom Pvt Ltd (NSTPL); Smart Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL).

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

    • Market overview and analysis
    • Regional Asian Market Comparison
  • Regulatory environment

    • Regulatory authority
      • Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA)
    • Telecommunications Policy 1999
      • Universal service
      • Rural Telecommunications Development Fund (RTDF)
    • Telecommunications Policy 2004
    • Telecom sector liberalisation and licensing
    • Foreign assistance
    • Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA)
    • Privatisation of Nepal Telecom
    • Broadband policy
  • Fixed Network Operators

    • Major operators
    • Nepal Telecom
    • United Telecom Ltd (UTL)
    • Nepal Satellite Telecom (NSPTL)
    • Smart Telecom (STPL)
    • STM Telecom
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the national telecom network
    • Fixed line statistics and market forecast
    • Fibre networks
    • International infrastructure
      • Overview
      • Kacific-1 satellite to benefit Nepal
      • Nepal’s first satellite
  • Fixed-line broadband market

    • Background
    • ISP market
    • Fixed Broadband statistics and Market Forecast
    • Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • Wi-Fi
      • WiMAX
  • Mobile market

    • Mobile statistics and market forecast
    • Mobile broadband and market forecast
    • Mobile regulatory issues
      • Spectrum
      • Pricing
  • Major mobile operators

    • Operators
    • Nepal Telecom (NT)
    • Ncell
    • Smart Telecom (SPTL)
    • Nepal Satellite Telecom (NSPTL)
    • MNVOs
  • Digital economy

    • e-Government
    • e-ID cards
  • Digital media

    • Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)
    • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Country Statistics, Major Operators and Telco Authorities – 2019 (e)
  • Table 2 – Top Level Country Statistics – 2019 (e)
  • Table 3 – Licences issued for telecom services – Q3 2019
  • Table 4 – NDCL - Fixed subscribers wireline and WLL – Q3 2019
  • Table 5 – Fixed subscribers by operator – wireline and WLL – 2018
  • Table 6 – Historic - Fixed subscribers by operator – wireline and WLL – 2017
  • Table 7 – Historic - Fixed subscribers by operator – wireline and WLL – 2016
  • Table 8 – Nepal Telecom’s (NDCL) fixed subscribers – wireline and WLL – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 9 – UTL’s subscribers – limited mobility and WLL – 2011 - 2018
  • Table 10 – Historic - STM’s subscribers – limited mobility and fixed-line – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 11 – Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration– 2009 - 2019
  • Table 12 – Historic - fixed-lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2005
  • Table 13 – Fixed-line subscribers – wireline and WLL – 2010 - 2019
  • Table 14 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers (with Forecast) – 2009 - 2024
  • Table 15 – Data and Internet subscribers by technology – 2016 – 2019 Q3
  • Table 16 – Fixed Broadband (wireless) subscribers by operator– 2019 Q3
  • Table 17 – Internet bandwidth capacity – 2001 - 2019
  • Table 18 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 19 – Historic - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration rate – 1999 - 2011
  • Table 20 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2012 – 2024
  • Table 21 – 3G/4G subscribers (million) – 2018 – 2019 Q2
  • Table 22 – Mobile operators and systems
  • Table 23 – Mobile operators and market share – 2019 Q2
  • Table 24 – Mobile broadband subscribers by operator, 3G 4G and EVDO – 2019 Q2
  • Table 25 – Mobile operators and market share - 2018
  • Table 26 – Historic - Mobile operators and market share - 2017
  • Table 27 – Historic - Mobile operators and market share - 2016
  • Table 28 – Nepal Telecom (NDCL) - mobile subscribers – 2006 – 2019 Q2
  • Table 29 – Ncell - mobile subscribers – 2006 – 2019 Q3
  • Table 30 – Smart Telecom- mobile subscribers – 2016 – 2019 Q2
  • Table 31 – Nepal Satellite Telecom (NSPTL)- mobile subscribers – 2018

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Mobile, Mobile Broadband & Fixed Broadband Penetration – 2019; 2024
  • Chart 2 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index by Market Category
  • Chart 3 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 4 – Telecoms Maturity Index – Central Asia
  • Chart 5 – Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration– 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 6 – Current mobile subscriber and mobile broadband penetration rates in countries to benefit from the Kacific-1 satellite
  • Chart 7 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers (with Forecast) - 2009 - 2024
  • Chart 8 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 - 2024
  • Chart 9 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2012 – 2024
  • Chart 10 – 3G/4G subscribers (million) – 2018 – 2019 Q2
  • Chart 11 – 4G subscribers market share – 2018 – 2019 Q2
  • Chart 12 – Nepal Telecom - mobile and 4G subscribers (million) – 2018 – 2019 Q2
  • Chart 13 – Ncell - mobile and 4G subscribers (million) – 2018 – 2019 Q2
  • Chart 14 – Ncell - ARPU – 2005 – 2019 (e)
  • Chart 15 – STPL - subscribers and 4G subscribers (million) – 2018 – 2019 Q2

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Key Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 2 – Central Asia - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
  • Exhibit 3 – Level of competition by market segment

Related Reports

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Focus Report Profile

Technologies

Broadband Fixed
Internet
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Telecoms Infrastructure

Number of pages 89

Status Current

Last updated 9 Jan 2020
Update History

Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

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