Information about Telecommunication in Nepal

Telecom operators of Nepal: Which operator/SIM card to buy/choose?

If you are aware of the telecom business here in Nepal, then you probably know how many telecom operators are there in Nepal. Except for one, all the telecom operators operate a mobile network in different parts of Nepal. There is only one landline service provider, NTC which has got all the telecom services available in Nepal, including Mobile. NTA, Nepal Telecommunication Authority provides the license and the frequency for the operation of Mobile Networks.  As of  2014, the basic telephony license for the whole of Nepal is Unified license. We will also include if the operators have got the unified license.

There are altogether six Telecom operators here in Nepal. The following table shows the telecom operators, their services and subscribers.

S.NTelecom Network operators Services SubscribersUnified license
1Nepal Telecom (NTC)Landline, GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, LTE(4G), ADSL, WiMAX, WiFi,15 millionYes
2NcellGSM, WCDMA, LTE (4G)15 millionYes
3Smart Telecom (STPL)GSM, LTE( 4G)1.5 millionYes
4UTLCDMA (Fixed and Mobile), Planned GSM, Planned LTE( 4G).5 millionYes
5Nepal Satellite (NSTPL) a.k.a Hello mobileGSM (Limited area), Midwest and Far-west region.4 millionNo
6CG Telecom (previously STM)Remote telephony from VSAT, GMPCS, Planned GSM and LTE (4G)3 thousandYes.

The above number is based on the NTA data as of March 2017. There are four operators with the unified license. So, all of them will be operating a 2G network in 900 and 1800 MHz. It is interesting to know that the operators like Smart Telecom, UTL will invest in 4G  more without having a 3G  network. The requirement of high-speed internet will be provided by 4G and the traditional voice be provided by 2G GSM technology.

Which mobile operator or SIM card to choose?

So, if you want to choose one mobile operator for SIM card, then you need to know your requirement where you want to use it. The two operators have got network throughout the country. They are Ntc and Ncell.  This is for all those who have or prefer GSM network. So, if you want to roam around the country, then definitely go for one of them. Ntc is a government-owned telecom company so its service is even available in remotest place of Nepal. But make sure you take SIM card and subscribe all services, before leaving to those places. Whereas service wise Ncell has got different interesting services including its class customer care center.  Both the operators have got 4G network here in Kathmandu, the capital city and Pokhara. Follow us for more latest offers, news for 4G in Nepal. Read the list of cities with Ncell 4G.

  • Quality of service: Ntc Vs Ncell: More or less similar. Ntc found best for Telecom service. Read more here.
  • Price or tariff: Ntc is found to be cheaper than Ncell.
  • Check and compare the tariff/costs of all the telecom operators (Ntc, Ncell, Smart) here.

If you have a CDMA handset, then it is only Ntc which has a network throughout the country. You can find good signal even in the remotest place of Nepal. Make sure you take RUIM/SIM card from Ntc office before leaving to the remote place. They also have got data service in the NTC CDMA (Sky phone). Do subscribe to the EVDO or data service in the Ntc office.

Read here for the comparison of NTC and Ncell SIM card.

Read more:

How to check balance in Ntc?

How to check balance in Ncell?

The third operator Smart Telecom is also expanding its network to different places in the country. Till now, it is available only in major cities and areas of the country.

UTL (CDMA operator) which has got the unified license and frequency is also going to operate 2G in the whole of Nepal. We have heard about the UTL 2G from a long time but we still don’t know when they will realize the network before the commercial launch.

CG telecom will be the latest one operating mobile service in the country with 4G. Read more here.

If you have any queries about any telecom operators and network, feel free to ask us.


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