We (Nepali Telecom) performed a survey on our Facebook page to know what people demand from Nepali telecom companies, and we have received plenty of suggestions. From unlimited data package to eSim to VoLTE to just a consistent network performance in 4G from telcos, we have compiled them all in this post. Find out what do users want from the telecom operators in Nepal.
Unlimited Data Packs
Unlimited data topped the list in our survey. Mobile users want limitless access to the internet wherever they go. Since they surf the web or watch videos on the go, they don’t want data packs to be an issue. Their biggest demand is unlimited mobile data and more bandwidth while being on the go.
When it comes to the internet mobile operators have a major advantage over FTTH or Fiber internet. Telecom companies enable users to access the internet on the go. However, data is expensive and when people use it for YouTube streaming or downloading files, data packs will be used up rather quickly. This is a concern for most of the users.
Ncell users can access Data packs, ranging from 150 MB per day to 1 GB for 30 days. Ncell also offers other data packs targeting different users base. Recently Ncell also introduced its revamped data packs for business professionals and corporates known as Biz+. You can check the details here.
Nepal Telecom also offers a wide range of data packages for its customers. Regular Seasonal packs to Large Data Packs are available to users. Both the telecom operators provide unlimited data for an hour, which is still popular among people but they demand a weekly or monthly pack.
But it seems these data packs from both companies are not enough to satisfy the need for higher bandwidth. Even normal social media browsing consumes a huge amount of data as multimedia contents disperse the feed. Then there is Smart Cell which as per some people, provides a better data offer but its coverage is quite limited.
People feel that telecom companies’ data packages are not enough for smartphone users. As large-screen phones have dominated markets, higher bandwidth will be required for HD content viewing. So, at the moment, smartphone users feel their data packs not to be adequate. Therefore, the affordable and higher amount of data is people’s most demanded feature from telecom companies in Nepal.
Cheaper Voice Call
Another most sought service from telecom companies in Nepal is cheaper Voice Call. Nepal Telecom charges NRs. 1.5 per minute for calls within its network and NRs. 2 for external calls to Ncell and Smart cell.
Ncells’s call tariffs are more expensive. It would charge NRs. 2.5 per minute for calls beyond its network. It would cost just NRs. 0.88 if you make a call from 10 pm – 6 am.
Smart Cell offers its voice calls at NRs. 1.9 per minute (p/m) for both internal and inter-network calls. Check the table below to see how these three major telcos offer their voice calls rates.
|Internal call rate
|Inter-carrier call rate
|NRs. 1.5 p/m
|NRs. 2 p/m
|NRs. 2.5 p/m
|NRs. 2.5 p/m
|NRs. 1.92 p/m
|NRs. 1.92 p/m
Many users have made cheaper voice calls a priority. The survey helped to realize that current charges are not received well by Nepali mobile users. Their demand is telecom companies must be more generous and offer more flexible voice calls. You can find more about the voice calls tariff of these telecom operators at this link.
We must know the fact that voice calls become very cheap if you buy a voice pack. Whereas they also meant the voice pack to be cheaper. Some even expect it to be free (as with other countries) but that is too far to achieve very soon.
Growing Demands for VoLTE and VoWiFi
VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE which is a 4G network. With 4G expanding throughout the country, there is a huge crowd demanding voice calls over the revered 4G network.
VoLTE, in its most layman terms, means voice calls over a data (IP) network with HD quality. It offers a further advantage over the traditional configuration as it works on mobile data. With VoLTE enabled, a user not only would make a call but also surf the internet simultaneously.
Nepal Telecom has been expanding its 4G network throughout the country. Ncell already has a wide base of 4G users and Smart Cell is also expanding rather slowly. Among them, Nepal Telecom is performing tests for VoLTE calls and might even launch it soon. So, VoLTE becoming a reality is not so long future.
VoWiFi, just like VoLTE deviates from traditional calls. VoWiFi uses Wi-Fi to make calls that will rid the necessity for a mobile network. It releases the burden of poor mobile signal and can even make overseas calls conveniently.
For voice calls, the current 2G network is also fine. Read when to put your phone in 2G only mode. However, with newer technology offering a better and higher quality service, people don’t want to lag behind. They want to enjoy the better service with their hands sooner than later.
If a telecom service is to provide this service, they will also have to establish hot spots at multiple key venues from where users can connect their devices and make calls. This will also offload the cellular network to remove congestion and loads in the network. VoLTE and VoWiFi are two alternatives to existing call set-ups that enable HD calls with more reliability.
The way 4G is expanding and Wi-Fi hotspots are installed these days, these calling services may become reality very soon.
Better 4G Coverage Countrywide
Nepal Telecom has stretched its 4G coverage throughout the country. Ncell even has got a wide 4G reach but Smart Cell expansion is rather slow. However, the issue is the lack of a reliable 4G network all over the place. People are not able to enjoy a smooth and consistent performance over 4G as they have longed for.
Although 4G is supposed to leapfrog our mobile experience, unfortunately, it has barely been able to, except for a handful of cities. With poor or unstable 4G signal, networks keep switching themselves. Data speed fluctuates with disturbance to the service and people’s experience. Not everyone is satisfied with 4G functionality in Nepal irrespective of the carrier. Read: Ntc recommends for 4G handset and network Mode for seamless coverage.
4G has displaced 3G spectrum and let alone 2G. However, in hinterland or villages, fully functioning 4G will be a luxury not a standard. People are still having to navigate their phones for better network coverage and the 4G reliability issue is a thing. Let’s hope all telecom companies are dedicated to upgrading the 4G performance and increasing its availability for everyone in the country.
Need For 5G
Even with the current expansion of the 4G network in Nepal, it is yet to achieve its full functionality and potential. So, some might think it is too early for the 5G network to arrive at the moment in Nepal. Check out details on the 5G network in Nepal.
At this wishing for 5G may sound wishful thinking however, 5G also dominates mobile telecommunication talks these days.
As the Next-gen 5G is already replacing the infrastructures in the world’s major market, it will soon take over in other countries too. USA, China has already made massive progress in their 5G ambition and Nepali users are also not untouched by its discourses.
5G is the need for the next-gen mobile experience. It is an incredibly high-speed and reliable network that will eclipse the current mobile experience.
From autonomous cars to remote surgery precisely to AR/VR, 5G has incredible potential. As the number of smart homes, IoT devices increase that requires seamless connectivity, 5G will become the necessity.
Check out: Why Do You Need 5G Internet At Home?
With growing demands for higher bandwidth and speed, 5G will be another need for mobile consumers. Nepali users have also made their voices heard over it. They want the 5G expansion to take speed in the country so that they won’t lag behind when it becomes the norm already.
Calls for Embedded Sim Card or eSIM
eSIM is replacing our traditional SIM cards on our phones. There is no physical sim for you to insert or swap. There is just a chip inside your phone which serves you with all the functions of a traditional SIM but also adds other advantages.
SIM cards have taken a long journey on our phones. They have evolved in size from Mini-SIM to Micro SIM to Nano SIM to now tiny eSIM. For eSIM to work, the carrier has to support it. Then a user can connect to its data over the air.
With eSIM you can use data of different mobile carriers, change the network for calls, enjoy separate data and voice plans, etc. The services are cloud-based, and it is also more secure.
Current flagship devices from Apple such as iPad Pro, Apple Watch Series 3, iPhone 11, and iPhone 12 series and add to that Samsungs’ latest S21 series (in some market) devices also come with eSIM enabled. In the case of phones, eSIM adds the dual SIM support keeping the physical Sim. Whereas some wearables devices come with eSIM support only.
As the idea of eSIM is new, it is also available to the few and far between. However, Technology travels very fast. As it is coming on flagship devices, it will also go hand in hand with 5G enabled devices. Nepali telecom companies must do all their homework to grant this service and may not take long before it hits our market soon. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Wide FTTH Availability
Nepal Telecom provided its Dial-Up internet before replacing them with FUP-free ADSL for many years. As we are moving towards fiber internet, ADSL won’t be here for long either. However, FTTH penetration is still low. Nepal Telecom has expanded the FTTH network to 39 districts, which does not mean you can access Ntc FTTH in all the areas in the district. In remote areas, private ISPs are delivering their service but of lower consistency. At this people’s demand from government-owned Nepal Telecom is obvious.
FTTH is reliable, faster, and will come with Triple Play service (Telephone, Internet, and TV) which has furthered people’s expectations recently. Although Nepal Telecom has been rolling out the FTTH Project to more places, people want a faster approach from the state-owned telecom company.
Better Customer Service
People have long been dissatisfied with the customer care service of telecom operators in Nepal. When it comes to the call centers, Nepal Telecom fares worst. Most of the customers even report that their calls were not received despite numerous attempts. Find out the customer service center numbers of Nepal Telecom.
Not just that, calls recipients failing to provide any viable solutions adds to the disappointments of the consumers. One of the charms of a company is in its customer service. Their representatives’ demeanor and handling of the issue remains an essential after-service once their product has been purchased.
Telecom companies must address this call center service this issue as it spans across all the telecom companies and not one. Call centers are one important medium of keeping consumers satisfied. Let’s hope they are working their best to redress it.
So that was it. These were some of the major expectations of customers in Nepal from three carriers Nepal Telecom, Ncell, and Smart Cell. In the survey, Unlimited Data Packs and better 4G coverage were demanded most by the participants while many also demanded VoLTE, eSIM, and quicker 5G roll-out.
Also Check out: Challenges of Telecom Operators in Nepal
The sample survey has highlighted what people expect from Nepali telecom operators and where they are failing at the moment. We hope our list has got everything covered. If anything misses here, we request you to drop it in the comments section below.
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