NTA publishes market update for March; mobile users, fixed line base up

19 Apr 2013

The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has published its ‘Management Information System’ report for the month ended 13 March 2013, highlighting that the total number of mobile users (GSM and CDMA) topped 17.395 million at that date, up from 16.608 million at the start of the year. Of the total, some 16.562 million were GSM and the remaining 833,367 were signed up to Nepal Telecom’s (NT’s) Sky Phone CDMA service. Privately owned Ncell led the mobile market with 9.553 million connections, ahead of state owned NT with 7.842 million.

In the fixed line segment, the watchdog reported that the number of main lines in service stood at 834,435 by mid-March, compared to the 831,703 three months earlier, broken down as 641,747 PSTN and 192,688 wireless in the local loop (WiLL) users. NT counted 635,941 (PSTN) and 118,052 (WiLL) accesses at that date, to lead the market comfortably from United Telecom Limited (UTL), with 71,686 WiLL lines, Smart Telecom (5,208, PSTN), Nepal Satellite Telecom (2,950, WiLL) and STM Telecom Sanchar (598, PSTN).

Broadband take-up continues at a steady rate, according to the NTA’s findings, although the number of ADSL users has slipped in the most recent quarter. By the mid-March cut-off point Nepal was home to a total of 102,521 ADSL users – all for NT – down from 103,304 at 31 December 2012. The number of cable-based broadband connections stood at 18,275, compared to 18,158 three months earlier, and ‘other connections’ (wireless, fibre-optic, Ethernet) stood at 50,266 (49,960). For the first time, the NTA counted users to WiMAX services – following NT’s recent launch of the wireless technology. At mid-March the state-owned telco said it had signed up 198 WiMAX users. Meanwhile, the overwhelming number of people in the country continue to use GPRS/EDGE/W-CDMA as their primary data/internet connection. The total stood at 5.866 million at that date, while a further 226,509 received their internet access via CDMA2000 1x EV-DO.