- Short History of the Internet in Nepal
- Current Internet Access Statistics in Nepal
Short History of the Internet in Nepal
The Internet is a fundamental need of the modern world when it comes to communicating across the globe. The Internet has become the most valuable thing that narrows down the whole world inside a small screen. Therefore, let’s explore the progress and history of Internet speed in Nepal.
Initial Launch and Internet Speed In Nepal at That Time
The history of the internet in Nepal is not so surprising. The Internet was first started in Nepal in 1995, just 5 years later the internet launched globally in 1990.
That is a proud moment, but when it comes to accessibility it was too limited to very few people and organizations.
Mercantile, which is popularly known for providing free .np domain, hosting, and banking software in Nepal was the first company to launch the internet in Nepal.
WorldLink, the largest internet service provider in Nepal was also established in 1995 AD providing internet in Nepal through a dial-up connection modem.
The dial-up connection modem used to produce irritating noise and the maximum speed that a user could get under a favorable situation was 56 Kbps. The cost for the internet was on a per-minute basis.
Similarly, After 2003 AD, WorldLink maintained its continuity in providing internet by providing a wireless internet connection that had a speed of 256 Kbps.
Later in 2005, SUBISU, another ISP owned by the private sector, introduced cable internet in Nepal for the first time. It became popular because it was more affordable than a Dial-up connection and the users were getting both Television channels and internet access through the same cable.
Initial Launch of the Internet in Rural Areas
Although there was basic internet available in urban areas, especially in Kathmandu. The rest of the people were completely unaware of what the internet is.
So, Mr. Mahabir Pun did some effort to provide internet in rural areas with his project “Nepal Wireless Networking” in 2002.
This project helped people in geographically backward areas to get access to an internet connection.
Mr. Mahabir Pun has already completed installing almost 180 wireless internet in 15 different backward districts by the beginning of 2020.
Growth of Users of the Internet in Nepal
Statistically, there was around 1% population used an internet connection in Nepal till 2006. This percentage raised to 9% in 2011 as per a census done during the respective period.
There are two main factors behind this progressive change. The first was the introduction of mobile internet (GPRS) by “Mero Mobile”, now known as NCELL and Nepal Telecom. And the second one is the introduction of ADSL cable internet by Nepal Telecom.
ADSL was the reason, cyber businesses were started in Nepal where the general public who were unable to afford a dedicated personal connection used to go for surfing the internet on per hourly usage basis.
Launch of 3G and Internet Speed In Nepal
In 2011, the existing GPRS was upgraded to the 3G connection which progressively enhanced the speed of the internet in Nepal.
The average stable speed one could get with 3G internet was around 8-10 Mbps.
Unfortunately, these upgrades were done in profitable and city areas only.
4G LTE (with VoLTE) and Internet Speed
Similarly, Nepal Telecom launched 4G LTE in Nepal on 1st Jan 2017. Which is not yet fully expanded in all the areas of Nepal. And it is still in progress when the world is already expanding the 5G network.
Nepal Telecom has also released VoLTE service as a trial starting from May 17, 2021. This service will enhance audio and video quality and improve connection time. You can also get a 100-minute free voice call in NTC if you enable this service.
However, mostly in rural areas, we can find the same old GPRS (2G) connection with a speed below 1 Mbps.
5G – Trial Phase Started
After the board meeting of Nepal Telecommunication Authorities decided to provide 60Mhz frequency bandwidth to NT in its preferred 2600MHz band. Nepal Telecom started 5G trials in the Sundhara area of Kathmandu on 31 October 2022. Nepal Telecom is planning to start the trial in all seven provinces of Nepal soon.
Current Internet Access Statistics in Nepal
According to a report published by NTA for up to the period of 1st January 2022, there are more than 37 million people are under access to different types of internet connection which is around 113% of the total population of Nepal.
This data shows that the connection access is 130% which is not reliable as we have seen many areas not yet covered by a 3G connection. This is because almost every individual with a mobile phone uses dual SIM cards from different providers. Due to the lack of proper records, and regulations in record keeping, the statistics can not represent real data.