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History and Development of Telecommunication In Nepal: Milestones

The history of Telecommunication in Nepal dates back to 1913 when the first telephone line was introduced in Kathmandu with an open-wire trunk between Kathmandu and Raxual (an Indian border town) in 1914. With the evolution of the services from the early days, we have reached a much-developed telecom market here in Nepal, along with the introduction of advanced technologies.

Telecom operators in Nepal.

To date, there are six Telecom operators with a broad range of technologies (Landline / Mobile / WLL) like PSTN, ADSL, GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, LTE, EVDO, NGN, and SIP. Nepal Telecom (previously Nepal Telecommunication Corporation) is the incumbent operator, owned by the government of Nepal being the only landline operator. It has almost all services/technologies in almost all areas of the nation. Among them, Nepal Telecom (NTC) and Ncell are the only telcos that have nationwide mobile coverage.

Ncell (previously Spice Nepal), previously Teliasonera associate (now an Axiata company) is a fast-growing GSM operator in the nation. It adopts new business strategies and approaches to allure customers to its network. STM Sanchar, an American investment is a rural basic telephony operator with a satellite link, especially available in Mountainous Region where there is no option for other services.

Now CG Telecom acquired the whole STM Sanchar telecom company. UTL, United Telecom is a joint venture of three Indian Telecom giants( MTNL, TCIL, TCL) with Nepal Ventures Private Limited (NVPL), operating in CDMA technology for WLL and Mobile. But UTL’s service is not available now.

Unified license.

Among Others, Nepal satellite and Smart cell are two operators given GSM License and frequency operating in different Rural VDC (Village Development Committee) and later to get the license to operate all over the nation (including populous cities Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Pokhara, etc). UTL, Smart has already got the unified license to operate GSM service in all parts of the country.

4G operators in Nepal.

Nepal Telecom launched a 4G LTE service in Kathmandu and Pokhara at the beginning of the year 2017. Ncell then introduced 4G in major cities of Nepal. Similarly, Smart telecom has also expanded its 4G coverage to 19 districts. Another telecom operator CG Telecom had inked a huge deal with Huawei for a 4G network but they are yet to receive the mobile telephony license called the unified license.

Nepal Telecom expands 4G service to all 77 districts but not all parts of the country. After expanding 4G to all areas of the country, they have attained the widest 4G Coverage in Nepal.

Ntc Ncell Smart Telecom

History of Telecommunication in Nepal with milestones.

Here are some major milestones in the history of telecommunication in Nepal.

S.NYearTelecom Milestone Event
12022eSIM launched in Nepal with both Ntc and Ncell
22022Ntc shuts down WiMAX service in Nepal
32022NTA launched MDMS (Mobile device management system) in Nepal
42022Ncell launched VoLTE
52022Worldlink introduces XGS-PON in Nepal with a 10Gbps speed
62022Ntc crosses 1 crore (10M) 4G users in Nepal
72021VoLTE launched in Nepal Telecom
82020NTC 4G coverage reaches all 77 districts of Nepal
92017NTC starts the migration of old TDM landlines to IP-based phones.
102017 Nepal Telecom, Ncell, and Smart Cell launches 4G Service in Nepal
112016Axiata bought an 80 pc stake in Ncell, from Teliasonera
122016Tele-density crosses 100 percent in Nepal
132011Overall Teledensity of Nepal crossed 50 percent.
142011Launching of GSM 3G Data Only Service (Nepal Telecom)
152011Launching of EasyPhone SIP PPP Service (Nepal Telecom)
162010 Launching of EasyPhone SIP EasyCall Service (Nepal Telecom)
172010High-Speed Internet on the Top of the world (Ncell)
182010Soft Launch of EasyPhone IP Call Service (Nepal Telecom)
192010High-Speed data Card launched from Ncell. Ncell Connect.
202010EVDO Service started (Nepal Telecom)
212010Blackberry Service launched in Ncell.
222010Mero Mobile Rebranded to Ncell.
232009Postpaid CDMA Mobile Service started (Nepal Telecom)
242008  Smart Tel awarded a license for GSM rural telephony for 4 Development regions other than EDR.
252008Broadband ADSL Service launched. (Nepal Telecom)
262008Nepal Satellite TeleCommunications awarded a license for GSM rural telephony in MWDR.
272008TeliaSonera Acquired Ncell, then Spice Nepal (Ncell)
282007 GPRS, 3G, and CRBT Services were introduced in GSM Mobile. (Nepal Telecom)
292007Expansion of Internet Bandwidth via Optical link between Nepal & India. (Nepal Telecom)
302007National Roaming for CDMA Mobile (Sky Phone) started. (Nepal Telecom)
312006CDMA Limited Servies in Kathmandu Valley. (Nepal Telecom)
322005 Access Network Services. (Nepal Telecom)
332005Soft launch of CDMA. (Nepal Telecom)
342005Mero Mobile GSM Service launched (Ncell)
352004Prepaid Calling Card Service (IN Services).(Nepal Telecom)
362004NEPAL TELECOM(Transformation from Corporation to a Company)
362003GSM Prepaid Service. (Nepal Telecom)
372003STM Telecom Sanchar is licensed for rural Telephony.
382002East-West Highway Optical Fiber Project (Nepal Telecom)
392002UTL got the license for CDMA WLL and Limited mobility.
402000 Launching of Internet Service. (Nepal Telecom)
412000Implementation of SDH Microwave Radio. (Nepal Telecom)
421999Launching of GSM Mobile services. (Nepal Telecom)
431997Digital Link with D.O.T. India through Optical Fiber in Birgunj – Raxual.(Nepal Telecom)
441996 Introduction of VSAT services. (Nepal Telecom)
451996Independent Int. Gateway Exchange established.
461996Automation of the entire Telephone Network
471996Conversion of all Transmission links to Digital transmission link
481995Installation of Optical Fiber Network
491984 Commencement of STD service
501983 Establishment of digital Telephone Exchange
511965First Automatic exchange in Nepal (1000 lines in Kathmandu)
521964 Beginning of International Telecommunications Service (HF Radio) to India and Pakistan
531962First Public Telephone Exchange in Kathmandu (300 lines CB)
541955Distribution of telephone lines to the general public
551935 Installation of 25 lines of automatic exchange in the Royal Palace
561914 Establishment of an Open wire Trunk Link from Kathmandu to Raxaul (India)
571913 Establishment of the first telephone lines in Kathmandu

We suggest you read Telecommunications in Nepal: Current state and needs >>

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