Nepal - 3.4 Telecommunications

​Nepal’s Telecommunication sector has a total of 34,731,859 subscriptions for Voice Telephony Service and 40,900,718 internet service subscribers according to the MIS report published by Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) in October 2023. Of the total voice telephony subscribers, 97.58% use mobile service, 2.4% of users are fixed line service, and 0.01% other form of voice service. Nepal Telecom or NT (also known as Nepal Doorsanchar Company Ltd – NDCL), Ncell Axiata Limited, Nepal Satellite Telecom Pvt. Ltd (NSTPL), Smart Telecom Pvt. Ltd (STPL) and CG Telecom P.L. (STM) are the five telecom and mobile network operators active in Nepal. NCell Axiata has 51.40% of the market share based on active subscribers, Nepal Telecom follows with 48.59% and the rest have a 0.01% share in the market. The extent of telecommunication coverage across the country suggests that the availability of networks in the Karnali Province specially the remotes area is comparatively lower than in other provinces. Telecommunication services are primarily focused on the Mid-hill and the Terai regions. 

Source: MIS Report Asoj, 2080  


As of September 2023, there are 29,439 telecommunication infrastructure established within the country and the summary is: 





Number of Mobile Tower (2G) 


Number of Mobile Tower (3G) 


Number of Mobile Tower (4G) 


Number of Microwave Links 



Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) or Nepal Doorsanchar is a state-owned telecommunication regulatory body of Nepal. NTA’s objective is to create a favourable and competitive environment for the development, expansion, and operation of telecommunications services with the private sector participation in Nepal. On July 28, 2021, NTA endorsed a working guideline on the use of 5G mobile internet, paving the wat for the service providers looking to carry out test operation of advanced service in the segment.  

Nepal Telecom (NTC), the state-owned telco began testing 5G on February 5, 2023. NTC’s internal 5G testing is currently live in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Birgunj among its employees. The coverage of the Nepal Telecom’s Voice Telephony service is better illustrated via   NT | 4G Coverage ( 

Ncell Pvt. Ltd. has been working in Nepal since 2004 as the first private mobile operator in the country. Ncell is part of the Axiata Group Berhad, one of Asia’s leading telecommunications groups.  

Optical fiber is laid out in the major cities. The network of optical fiber connects cities to neighbouring urban areas. BTS Towers transmit and receive the signal via radio links in and out of the rural districts. Commercial VSAT services are offered in remote and mountainous areas.  For more information on telecoms contacts, please see the following link: 4.11 Nepal Additional Services Contact List 

Telephone Services 

Is there an existing landline telephone network?  

Yes, in all district headquarters    

Does it allow international calls?  


Number and Length of Downtime Periods (on average)  

Clusters of Base Transceiver Station (BTS) Tower form a web of radio link connections. Neighbouring Towers share Traffic load at the time when a Tower malfunctions, which minimizes downtime periods.     

Mobile Phone Providers   

Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited (GSM, CDMA)   

Ncell Private Limited (GSM)   

Approximate Percentage of National Coverage  

98% of Telephone Service is mobile-based services.   

Telecommunications Regulations  

Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) the autonomous telecommunications regulatory body of Nepal was established in February 1998 in accordance with the Telecommunications Act, 1997 and Telecommunications Regulation, 1998. NTA determines the number of licenses to be issued for each telecommunications service and publishes a public notice specifying the time limit to submit applications for a telecommunications license.  The different types of license list issued by NTA are listed below:   

  1. Network Service Provider 

  1. GSM Cellular Mobile 

  1. VSAT User 

  1. Basic Telecommunications Services 

  1. Internet with Email 

  1. GMPCS 

  1. International Trunk Telephone 

  1. Rural VSAT User 

  1. Basic Telephone Service 

  1. Rural ISP 

The details of the license procedure and license fee can be found the links: License Procedure and License Fee.  

Regulations on Usage and Import 


Regulations in Place?  

Regulating Authority  



Nepal Telecommunication Authority   

HF Radio  


Nepal Telecommunication Authority  

UHF/VHF/HF Radio: Handheld, Base, and Mobile  


Nepal Telecommunication Authority   

UHF/VHF Repeaters  


Nepal Telecommunication Authority  



Nepal Telecommunication Authority   



Nepal Telecommunication Authority  

Individual Network Operator Licenses Required? 


Frequency Licenses Required  

Yes, from Nepal Telecommunication Authority  

Existing Humanitarian Telecoms Systems  

Agencies with their own telecommunications systems are the United Nations (UN), Nepal Red Cross Society, Nepal Army, Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, major embassies, and the Asian Development Bank. The most common telecom equipment used is VHF and HF radios, Satellite Phones, Broadband Global Area Networks, and VSATs.  

The UN agencies operate a telecom system under the same umbrella managed by UNDSS. A common Radio Room is manned 24/7 by radio operators from UNDSS in Kathmandu. There are Local Security Assistants (LSA) for the eastern and western regions as defined by the UN security system in the country. 

A VHF network is established across the country along the East-West highway. However, for travel in the hilly and mountainous regions, staff have to rely on HF radio and satellite phones. Additionally, mission vehicles are equipped with GSM or satellite tracking systems, and HF and VHF mobile radios for communications.   

Existing UN Telecommunication Systems 


UN (Common Network) * 


VHF Frequencies 

169.9750 MHz, 165.4750 MHz, 170.4750 MHz, 165.9750 MHz, 171.1750 MHz, 166.6750 MHz, 169.8250 MHz, 165.3250 MHz 

161.150 MHz 
154.250 MHz 

HF Frequencies 

3.300 MHz, 4.2633 MHz, 5.280 MHz, 6.2359 MHz, 7.5395 MHz, 8.1156 MHz, 9.2063 MHz, 4.355 MHz, 8.257 MHz, 11.395 MHz 


Locations of Repeaters  

Shivapuri, Halchowk, Nagarkot, Phulchowki, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Dhangadhi, Damak, Janakpur 




Uplink Fq. Tx: 5925.445 MHz 
Downlink Fq. Rx: 3692.85 MHz 
VSAT Service Provider: Marlink 

*UN Common System Network is managed by UNDSS in Nepal. 


Internet Service Providers (ISPs)  

The five major Telecommunication providers along with 127 other companies are registered as Internet Service providers. List of authorized companies to provide the internet with email service: NEPAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY (नेपाल दूरसञ्चार प्राधिकरण ) – Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) 

Wired Broadband services are provided through coaxial cable or optic fibre. Wireless Broadband services like Wi-Fi and WiMax and Mobile Broadband-like 3G, 4G services are available. Of these services 3G and 4G is the most popular choice among consumers.   

Internet Service Providers  

Are there ISPs available?  


If yes, are they privately or government owned?  

Government - 1   

Private – 127   

Dial-up only?  

No, ADSL and fiber optics  

Approximate Rates (local currency and USD - $)  

Unlimited data  
200 Mbps, NPR  1300/month 
300 Mbps, NPR  1550 /month 

  9.76- 11.64 US$/Month   



Max Leasable ‘Dedicated’ Bandwidth  

As specified by the organization’s requirement  


Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) 

Nepal Telecom’s GSM 4G LTE, CDMA2000 (3G, EVDO), and 4G WiMAX services can be accessed by acquiring a SIM card, NT recharge card, and USB dongle for WiMAX. SIM cards have to be purchased from NT offices, but NT Recharge cards can be purchased through any retail shop or digitally by using mobile money services.   

NCELL mobile service is GSM 4G LTE standard. NCELL SIM cards could be purchased through NCELL offices, particularly in urban areas and SIM recharge cards can be acquired through retail shops or digital mobile money services. Upload speed can be 18 Mbps to 3 Mbps and download speed can be 37 Mbps to 10 Mbps. 

Both NTC and Ncell have sales counters at the arrival area of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, Nepal. Travelers can conveniently purchase a SIM card upon arrival by filling out a simple form and providing a copy of their passport and visa. The cost of the SIM is just NPR 100 (USD 0.75).  

For additional information on Mobile Network Operators in Nepal please visit the GSM Association website.   


Number of Agent Outlets by Area 

Network Strength by Area 

Contracted for Humanitarian or Government Cash Transfer 


Services Offered 

(i.e. Merchant Payment, 

Bulk Disbursement, 

Receive & Make Payment) 

 Nepal Telecom 

 184 branches and exchanges in all 7 provinces 

Strong network in urban areas, limited or no network in remote locations 


Fixed Landline Telephone, Mobile telephony 3G/4G, CDMA telephone, Wired and Mobile Internet 


 31 Ncell centres in all 7 provinces 

Strong network in urban areas, limited or no network in remote locations 


Mobile telephony 3G/4G and mobile internet 

Link of NTC 4G coverage by area: NT | 4G Coverage ( 

Link of Ncell centres: Ncell Centre ( 


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