NTA reports fall in fixed line base at mid-August, but mobile lines up

7 Nov 2012

National telecoms regulator the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has published its latest market observatory report for the month of Shrawan, 2069 (15 July – 14 August, 2012) showing that the country’s fixed line user base continues to fall, standing at 839,067 connections, down from 850,607 at mid-April this year. Of the total, state owned Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited (Nepal Telecom, or NT) reported a total of 629,801 (PSTN) and 129,126 (WiLL) connections, at mid-August, while the country’s smaller players lagged behind in terms of users, with United Telecom Limited reaching 71,395 fixed-wireless telephony customers, Nepal Satellite Telecom having 2,950 WiLL lines, Smart Telecom, 598 and STM with 5,197 – both PSTN.

In the mobile segment, at mid-August 2012 the total number of registered SIMs stood at 15.627 million, up from 14.498 million at mid-April. Market leader Spice Nepal Private, trading as Ncell, had 8.492 million GSM clients at that date, while NT had 7.135 million (including 6.304 million GSM and 830,172 CDMA users). Data published in the NTA’s Management Information System report shows that at that date overall teledensity (fixed and mobile) stood at 66.14% (up from 61.42% in April and 56.46% at mid-December 2011), with mobile accounting for the lion’s share – or 58.70% – of lines.

The NTA also said the total number of data and internet subscribers stood at 5.145 million at mid-August, up from 4.667 million in April, with the overwhelming majority (over 4.782 million) arising from GPRS mobile internet connections. The number of ADSL connections topped 88,058 for NT (up from 83,464), with cable modem, CDMA 1x and other (wireless, fibre-optic) reaching 17,981, 196,183 and 45,612 respectively. There were also 15,037 dial-up connections reported at the same date.