2078 was a momentous year for the telecommunications industry. We have seen a blistering speed war in fiber broadband that has completely changed the landscape of our internet. And for mobile communications, the 4G network has ruthlessly expanded across the country while the 5G spectrum has been approved for its trial.
In sum, this year has been a milestone for telecommunications in many ways. From the relentless expansion of 4G and the approval of 5G spectrum to the growth of fiber optic broadband and the frenzy of the “shock and awe” speed war. 2078 couldn’t have been more exciting.
So here we are going to break down the major events that have taken place in telecommunications this year.
Let’s start with the unforgettable speed war. And for that, we must first talk about CG Net’s 120 Mbps plan, the event that helped transform fiber broadband in Nepal.
CG Net leads the speed war
CG Net shocked everyone when it debuted the three-digit 120 Mbps internet plan. It was a historic moment from many different angles. It was very high speed Internet access for residential use and it was cheap. The company priced it only for Rs.999, a mockery of all major ISPs at the time. And it happened in June of this year. It was the forerunner of the speed war that stubbornly refuses to settle, though.
This breakthrough package has brought a phenomenal series of price and speed wars to Nepal. CG Net, having been shunned for the telecom companies, had stirred the boat for all the ISPs and they had to react or fall prey to the fledgling company’s strategies. But soon they responded.
Speed over 100 Mbps is becoming common
After a while, WorldLink followed with the Photon 300 Mbps series, succeeded with Photon 600 and recently launched the 1 Gbps pack. But it was Classic Tech that deployed Nepal’s first-ever 1 Gbps plan as part of the Tachyon series. Similarly, Dish Home and Vianet have 650 Mbps and 250 Mbps Ultra-Fi plans respectively. Subisu has also launched the Raftaar 650 Mbps package.
Don’t Miss: How Did the Internet Speed War Start and What to Do About It?
The average speed increases
Thanks to the speed war, Nepal’s internet speed has gone from a common 2-digit speed to a whopping 1 Gbps plan. Now, the base plans from each of the major ISPs are around 80-150 Mbps.
And it also increased the speed of Nepal’s fixed broadband. The latest report from Ookla showed that fiber optic speed in Nepal reached 40.50 Mbps in the latest global index. This places Nepal second among SAARC neighbors, only behind India. As ISPs further increase their minimum speed and the number of customers on the broadband package is likely to increase in the coming months, speed is likely to increase further.
2078 was a monumental year for the 4G network. Fourth-generation broadband has grown rapidly across the country with widespread coverage. Similarly, 4G users topped 1.5 crores, with subscribers largely split between Ntc and Ncell. The two telecommunications operators have also insisted on extending their services to remote areas.
Ncell has announced a dedicated 4G service to Everest Base Camp. NTC has also launched Namaste WiFi for areas where its NT fiber is not available. In addition, operators have also introduced mobile services in rural and remote areas of Nepal. In fact, the expansion of 4G was one of the highlights of the telecom industry in 2078 BS.
Growing VoLTE service
In addition, the year also saw the launch of VoLTE at the expense of Nepal Telecom (Ntc). Aka Voice over LTE is the 4G based service that enables HD calling and allows users to browse and call simultaneously.
According to Ntc, the service has been very popular. It has over a million activations and over a million active users already after its launch in May.
Meanwhile, Ncell also prepared for his. According to the operator, it is testing VoLTE in a few selected devices and once it determines their compatibility, the telecom operator will launch VoLTE throughout Nepal in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands.
learn: Nepal Telecom commercially launches VoLTE | Process to activate
Ntc gets 5G spectrum
The long-awaited 5G trials have received a vital boost in Nepal and they could soon be on their way. After months of talks, NTC was granted 5G spectrum by NTA in November last year. Reportedly, Ntc will use 60 MHz of frequency bandwidth in the 2600 MHz midband (n41) for its 5G network.
For now, the public operator is in talks with equipment suppliers for the purchase of 5G equipment. If all goes according to plan, we could see the start of the 5G trial before June 2022.
On the other hand, the private telephone company Ncell could also launch its own fifth generation network. The company sent a letter to NTA for approval of its 5G proposal. From now on, it seems that the operator will have to wait, at least until Ntc begins its tests.
2078 also saw a new development towards the implementation of eSIM. If it goes as planned, Ntc could use eSIMs during this fiscal year 078/79. The operator is likely to launch a tender for eSIMs. With Android 13 bringing support for dual eSIM profiles, virtual SIM cards may soon start replacing physical cards in the future.
Highly publicized but not yet implemented, MDMS was a curious thing about 2078 BS. Mobile Device Management System, security software was supposed to start with the start of fiscal year 078/79, but it hasn’t yet. In fact, it managed to cause more concern than relief.
The NTA has planned to limit gray phones in Nepal and regulate smartphones in the country as well, but this has not yet been implemented due to technical reasons. Talking about the blacklisting of unregistered phones caused a stir and many people also registered their phones in a panic. But the system is not yet operational. Hopefully this will start soon as it adds an important layer to protect our phones.
Discover: How to register your phone IMEI online on the NTA website?
2078 in figures – Telephone and 4G users
In telephone subscription among the three telecom operators, Ntc reached 2 crore, 30 lakh, 33 thousand, 2 cents and 29. Similarly, in 9 months, the telecom operator reached a total of 87 lakh, 70 thousand, 3 cents and 25 users on its 4G network.
The private telephone company Ncell serves 1 crore, 68 lakh, 77 thousand, 2 hundred and 16 users on its GSM services. For 4G broadband, the company has a solid base of 61 lakh, 23,000 and 96 users.
Smart Cell, has a total of 23 lakh, 69 thousand, 2 hundred and 27 users on its voice service. Likewise, the telecom operator has 1 lakh, 64,000, 800, and 48 users on its fast 4G network. In total there are 1 crore, 50 lakh, 58 thousand, 2 hundred and 69 followers. Don’t Miss: 4G Users in Nepal Surpass 1.5 Crores, Ntc Leads with Big Numbers
|smart cell||2,369,227||1 64 848|
The year was a milestone for fiber broadband. Internet speeds skyrocketed and disgruntled consumers got their high-speed internet packages.
In terms of numbers, the year ended on a high note for most major private ISPs. WorldLink, the silver jubilee company has over 5.8 lakh subscribers. Cable Internet pioneer Subisu has reached 2,000,000 users.
Similarly, Vianet now serves 1.62 lakh+ subscribers with its broadband packages. Classic Tech, the bold new player in the ISP market has just passed the 2 lakh mark reaching 2 lakh, 1 thousand, 5 cents and 48 users.
CG Net, which helped spark the speed war, has over 11,000 subscribers. The company is planning aggressive expansion and this would help it reach its potential as it deserves.
|Vianet||1 62 377|
In total, there are 17 lakh, 72 thousand, 6 hundred and 83 unique followers. This translates to over 87 lakh users when adjusted with the 1:4.5 connection recommended by Nta: The Mathematics of Users. This means that a home Internet subscription is shared between 4.5 members of a family.
Read more: Fiber internet users in Nepal approach 1.8 million
So these are the highlights of the telecommunications industry in 2078. What was the most important event for you? If we missed anything, you can share it with us in the comments below.