The number of people with a fixed line or mobile phone in Nepal has reached 6.3 million, pushing overall teledensity to 22.94%, according to a report from the regulator the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA). According to the watchdog’s latest management information system report for fiscal year 2008/09, national operator Nepal Telecom (NT) counted 4.28 million subscribers including fixed line (PSTN) and mobile (CDMA, 3G) users. In addition, Spice Nepal, which offers services under the Mero Mobile banner, counted 1.87 million subscribers and United Telecom Limited (UTL) had 144,062 subscribers. The NTA reported the total number of landline subscribers climbed to 806,480, mobile subscribers reached 5.42 million and subscribers to other telecom services (limited mobility, GMPCS and 3G) reached 78,278.
All three major service providers in Nepal have ambitious plan for expansion in the current fiscal year. NTC alone will be adding 2.72 million lines, it said. ‘We aim to cover all the village development committees (VDC) within this fiscal year,’ an NT spokesman said, adding that NT’s telecom services now reached 3,331 VDCs. There are a further 380 VDCs in the country which do not currently have telecoms access. Meanwhile Spice Nepal plans to extend its network coverage to all 75 districts by the end of 2009. Spice Nepal has increased its subscriber base to 1.9 million from 1.4 million last year. Similarly, UTL plans to expand its coverage to 35 districts within the current fiscal year. Elsewhere, Smart Telecom, which received its licence from the NTA in July 2008, is working to provide two telephone lines to 318 VDCs in remote areas of the western, mid-western, far western and central regions.