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Smartphone Penetration in Nepal And The Impact

In recent years people prefer smartphones for their ability to make them dumb. Kidding!! Not really, we mean to say smartphones help to make our life easier for the ability to perform several kinds of stuff. Now, smartphones have also taken over many other gadgets like cameras, GPS, PDA, and even Computers. People even use smartphones as makeup mirrors, Credit or debit cards, and many more.

As a matter of fact, smartphones are now the ultimate companion of human beings. But better not to be addicted. You can check your addiction level here. This post is not about what smartphones do, their preferences reason, and their addiction. But it is about the percentage of people having smartphones in Nepal, a.k.a Smartphone penetration.

Most developed countries have smartphone penetration in the range of 70 to 90 percent. But the average smartphone penetration in the world is around 76 percent now, as per GSMA report. The average value declines due to the developing countries and LDCs. Although these countries have lower values of smartphone percentage, the numbers have rapidly grown in the last few years.

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Smartphone penetration in Nepal

The measure for the smartphone users in Nepal was also way below if you see the data some years. It was 15 percent in the year 2013 according to Kantipur’s post. Now with the availability of many affordable smartphones and soaring applications, the smartphone percentage in Nepal has grown rapidly.

According to the Ncell report in 2018, the smartphone penetration in their network was 52 percent then. As we can consider the same kind of penetration in the state-owned company Nepal Telecom. So, we can say the smartphone penetration in the country crossed the 50 percent mark back in 2018.

Now from the start of 2020, we find that smartphone penetration has crossed the 60% mark in Nepal. The value is more or less the same in both the telcos Nepal Telecom and Ncell. Nepal Telecom’s MD in one webinar mentioned the value to be above 60%. Similarly, Ncell’s latest financial report of 2020 also shows their smartphone penetration reached 65%. You can also find the penetration to reach 66% and 71% as of year 2021 and 2022 respectively. However, Ntc does not publish similar data as of now.

Smartphone penetration in Ncell42%52%59%62%65%66%71%
Smartphone Penetration Source: Ncell Data

That means more than 71% of Nepalese use smartphones today. It also lies in the same range as World’s average smartphone penetration.

However, recent National Census data 2078 reveals that the smartphone penetration is now 73 percent, according to the home devices access to family. You can also find the internet access, computer access, radio, TV access data in the report.

Previously, smartphone penetration in Nepal used to grow by 10 percent each year. As the smartphone market seems saturated, tentatively it increased by a lesser percentage in recent years.

There are several reasons for this penetration to go up. First people (either working or studying) who come from abroad bring smartphones with them. Secondly, it is due to the availability of cheaper Chinese brand mobile phones in Nepal like Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Realme, and many more. It is also due to people’s preference for different telco services and better use of social media applications on smartphones.

What will be the impact?

As we find the smartphone penetration growing significantly over the years, there are many advantages in the telecommunication market. At first, it will help the operator to migrate their customers to new technology like 4G, 5G. The newer technologies being more efficient will help the operator to be effective in handling their network.

With more smartphone users, more will be cellular internet users for telcos with an increase in the data usage volume. This will have a good impact on the revenues of telecom operators. So, smartphone penetration helps to tackle the challenges of telecom operators.

Similarly, higher smartphone use means a better market for new applications, digital advertisement, and has a special meaning for the telecom industry. It has also a significant contribution to encouraging innovative startups. The digital life enhanced by smartphones is also taken as the upheaval of overall living quality in the country.

Read 3G vs 4G Mobile Network; which one to prefer?

Impact of increase in smartphone penetration

  • Increase in high data usage including multimedia content
  • Good impact on Revenue of telcos
  • Increase in usage of applications.
  • Positive impact in innovative startups based on mobile apps.
  • Make better and more efficient life for individuals.
  • Addiction to the phone may increase, reducing in-person communication.

We recommend you check the Internet of things (IoT) in Nepal >>

Tell us if you use a smartphone and the reason for using it in the comment section below.

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