After the COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown imposed by the government in Nepal, the number of internet users and mobile data consumption has skyrocketed. As per the report of the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA), the number of internet usage, as well as mobile data users got elevated much. This was the result of various Data Packages schemes offered by various Telecommunication Providing companies such as Ncell, NTC as well as Smart Cell.
The lockdown was officially in effect from April 11, 2020. Since then, both internet (fixed broadband) usage time and users have been increasing in Nepal. In the beginning, netizens used the internet for a long time and a large volume. Then slowly more and more people started using it, after being introduced to the world wide web and the various advantages. Later, the Work From Home (WFH) provision also made the number double in a matter of a small period of time.
After two months, every Nepalese began to spend their time at the home with the internet. Furthermore, Online Classes of Schools, Colleges, and various other institutes is what caused the massive impact in the figures. The recorded statics clearly shows this. Sudhir Parajuli, President of Internet Service Provider Association (ISPAN) stated “The use of internet has been increasing continuously since April as well as the number of users of every service provider company is also increasing”.
However, the number of Internet users has been declining since November 2020. But the usage time of the internet stays the same. Furthermore, Sudhir Parajuli followed up “The use of the internet is increasing every month due to Work From Home, Online meetings, Live video, Use of Tickets, Watching Movies, YouTube as well as spending time on Social Media. The numbers have drastically increased by 30 percent compared to the previous lockdown. Therefore, they estimated the internet usage to have been more than doubled”.
The Impact Of Lockdown On Internet Usage
Due to lockdown, both domestic and international bandwidth has increased tremendously. As per the Internet Service Providers’ Association of Nepal (ISPAN) reports, WorldLink has the strongest presence in the Nepalese market. People consume almost 350 Gbps of World Link’s internet whereas it is only 100 Gbps of Subisu’s internet. Almost 25 percent of bandwidth consumption increased every month, as per the ISPs.
According to the NTA data, the number of mobile data users is declining every month. The declined numbers stand up to 7,673 in August 2020. But the number of fixed internet users is increasing as the day passes since April 2020. Mobile data users decrease as the inactive users get flushed regularly, find the info on inactive users below.
As per NTA, there were 4.245 million 854 internet users from various service providers in March 2076. These types of users have increased by 2,430 in April 2020 to 42 Lakh 48 Thousand. With ongoing lockdown, the numbers have increased by 76,000 in last May 2020. In June 2020, the number increased by 1 Lak 73 Thousand. However, the number declined in July 2020 by 7 Thousand but again increased by 280,904 in August 2020.
Check Out: NTC Data Packs (Latest Update)
Mobile Data Users increased by 7 Lakh
NTC’s mobile internet users have increased significantly when compared to Ncell and Smart Cell during the lockdown. MIS report published by NTA clearly shows that NTC’s mobile data users have increased every month from Chaitra 2076 to Bhadra 2077. NTC’s Fiber-to-the-Home, ADSL, WiMAX, and CDMA/EVDO as well as other internet have increased the number of users of analyzing only mobile data.
The latest report shows that telephone users as well as mobile data users have increased. In April 2020, the number went from 23,372 to 93,92,820. That’s clearly a 13,735 increase. Furthermore, the number increased by 19,481 in May to 44,660 in July 2020. Similarly, NTC’s mobile data users have increased by 7 Lakh 48 Thousand and 632. Further, they reached 1 Crore 2 Lakh 18 Thousand and 734 in July 2020. However, in August 2020, the number decreased by 1 Lakh 91 thousand and 347.
NTC’s spokesperson, Rajesh Joshi stated “The average growth rate has almost doubled after the system started attracting customers by giving packages”. Furthermore, he followed up by saying “Data usage will naturally increase as 3G to 4G, new users use the internet and Internet customers increase consumption”. Source
Recently, NTC has been aggressively expanding its Fiber internet by attracting packages to increase mobile data usage. NTC even stated that the speed of the internet has been improved after replacing ADSL (from landline phones) with fiber. Fiber is better than ADSL which results in more speed and stability.
Ncell’s Data Usage reached 120 Million GB in 2020
As per NTA, Ncell’s Mobile Data Users have increased by 94,234 in May 2020 and 1,67,273 in June 2020. However, other moths have only seen a downfall. The number of users has been decreased from 7574 to 67410 in March 2020 alone. In April 2020, the number of users declined by 2 Lakh 92 Thousand and 189. Similarly, the number of users decreased by 62 Thousand 772 in July 220 and 138,873 in August 2020. Ncell’s total Mobile Data Users were 6.5 Million 8 Thousand and 743.
Although Ncell’s Data users are increasing, the data usage is also increasing every month. This is exactly why the company has seen significant growth in the first nine months of 2020. Ncell claimed their Mobile Data users have increased unnaturally after lockdown. According to Ncell’s 2020 quarterly report, Mobile Data usage has reached 123.7 Million GB. This is alone in the first nine months of 2020 whereas the data consumption was only 94 Million GB of data total for last year.
According to Axiata’s report, the average data usage per individual was 1,312 MB of Mobile Data per month in the first quarter of 2019. As of June 2020, the data consumption increased to 1931 MB. Similarly, as of September 2020, the average data consumption reached 2,312 MB of Data volume per person per month.
Furthermore, Ncell started saying actually their data usage graph is rising annually. Their users used 106 MB of Mobile Data in 2015 per month. While in 2016 it raised up to 176 MB. Similarly, in 2018 it became 702MB and 963 MB in 2019 per month. As for in first nine months of 2020, the Mobile Data Usage hiked up to 1,852 MB per user per month. That’s quite a number and it shows the heavy increasing trend of data usage per subscribers. You can also find all the Ncell data packages available for the customers.
|Year||Ncell Average Data consumption per month|
|2020||1852 MB (till 3Q)|
Smart Cell’s Stats Is Quite Stable
Smart Cell is also popular among its consumers for its affordable data pack. However, the company hasn’t been able to grasp attention from new users due to its limited coverage and 4G availability. Despite the lockdown, its data users are only 182,545 in Nepal.
Ncell’s and Ntc’s Mobile Data Users have grown largely but the case is just the opposite when it comes to Smart. Their users have only decreased every month from April 2020 to July 2020. That leaves with just 20,603 active users in July 2020 and was stable when recorded again in august 2020.
NTA stated the number of public appearances is declining every month due to inactive months. Min Prasad Aryal, Spokesperson of NTA said “All Service providers deactivate SIMs that have not been used for six months. Such SIMs have to be revoked in one year. Unused SIM cards are allowed to be used for new users after one year”. Read in details for the SIM reuse period as defined by NTA.
As per NTA data, mobile users contribute the largest share of telephone users. As the mobile subscribers change frequently, no of telephone subscriptions also changes abruptly with it.
Out of 37.64 million telephone users from various services, the share of mobile is 98 percent. Similarly, out of 22.87 million total internet users, only 74 percent are mobile data users. The remaining 26 percent are wireless and wired internet users.
Though the data users have increased significantly with the largest data volume consumption ever, this alone is not able to boost the revenues/profit of the telecom companies. Find out the reasons why telecom suffered huge profit and revenue loss, despite the data consumption increase.
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