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3G/ 4G and FTTH drives broadband penetration in Nepal

Among the several broadband technologies, 3G, 4G and Fiber internet (FTTH) seems to be the major driver for the broadband penetration in Nepal. For Fixed broadband, FTTH (Fiber to the home) is being dominant. Similarly for mobile broadband, cellular 3G technology is the dominant one. The recent addition to mobile broadband in Nepal, 4G LTE has also grown in significant numbers, increasing the broadband penetration.

According to the NTA MIS for Feb 2018, the broadband penetration of Nepal remains at 27.17%. Where Fixed broadband contributes to 35 percent and mobile broadband contributes to 65 percent. As some of the operators have not provided some data, it seems the number is actually higher than this.

For Fixed broadband, ADSL is solely provided by Ntc. Whereas FTTH is provided mainly by private ISPs like Worldlink, Vianet, Subisu etc. Although Ntc is the pioneer for this, its user number stands at mere 515. We will have separate discussion for this. Similar low figure is with the WiMAX service with 17 k users. Significant figures for Fixed broadband are:

  • ADSL numbers: 2 lakhs
  • FTTH: around 3 lakhs

FTTH is a next generation access technology to provide high speed, reliable and quality internet service to your fixed locations (home or office) through the use of optical fiber. Acronym for Fiber to the Home, FTTH connects customer premises with optical fiber instead of coaxial cable or traditional telephone lines. Customers can get high speed broadband internet service ranging from 1 Mbps to 100 Mbps, along with IP based voice and multimedia (IPTV video) services.

Also Read: Ntc ADSL price reduces.

Although 3G has the highest share in the mobile broadband, 4G seems to be growing in significant pace now. There are around 13 lakh (1.3 million) 4G users in Nepal, which is just in one year of the 4G launch. The number was believed to increase rapidly with the expansion of 4G to all parts of the country. Ncell has the widest 4G coverage in the country in 21 cities. Ntc and Smart Cell only have 4G coverage in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Although Ntc had started working for new project for 4G expansion all over the country, there is no concrete date for when they will reach everywhere. Similar is the case for Smart Cell. They must have been planning and preparing internally to expedite the expansion.

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