Internet is fundamental need of modern world when it comes to communicating across the globe.
Although internet is a fastest medium of communication, it requires a connection to upload and download the data on the server that delivers the message.
Which means flow of message is influenced by the internet speed the encoder connected. So here we will be discussing about the internet speed in Nepal and its history.
Short History of Internet in Nepal
Initial Launch and Internet Speed In Nepal at That Time
The history of internet in Nepal is not so surprising. Internet was first started in Nepal during 1995 which is 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 internet in Nepal.
WorldLink, the largest internet service provider in Nepal was also established in 1995 AD providing internet in Nepal through dial-up connection modem.
The dial-up connection modem used to produce irritating noise and the maximum speed that a user could get under favorable situation was 56 Kbps. The cost for the internet was on per minute basis.
Similarly, After 2003 AD, WorldLink maintained it’s continuity on providing internet by providing a wireless internet connection that had a speed of 256 Kbps.
Later on 2005, SUBISU, another ISP owned by private sector, introduced cable internet in Nepal for the first time.
It became popular because it was affordable than Dial-up connection as well as users were getting both Television channel and internet access through the same cable.
Initial Launch of Internet in Rural Area
Although there was a basic internet available in urban area, specially in Kathmandu. Rest of the people were completely unaware of what internet is.
So, Mr. Mahabir Pun did some effort to provide internet in rural area with his project “Nepal Wireless Networking” from 2002.
This project helped people in geographically backward area to get access of internet connection.
Mr. Mahabir Pun has already completed installing almost 180 wireless internet in 15 different backward districts by the beginning of 2020.
Internet Users Growth in Nepal
Statistically, there were 1% population using internet connection in Nepal till 2006 which raised to 9% in 2011 as per census done during respective period.
There are two main factors behind this progressive change.
The first one was the introduction of mobile internet (GPRS) by “Mero Mobile”, now known as NCELL and Nepal Telecom. And the second one is introduction of ADSL cable internet by Nepal Telecom.
ADSL was the reason, cyber business were started in Nepal where general public who were unable to afford dedicated personal connection used to go for surfing internet on per how usage basis.
Launch of 3G and Internet Speed In Nepal
In 2011, the existing GPRS was upgraded to 3G connection which progressively enhanced the speed of internet in Nepal.
The average stable speed one could get with 3G internet pas around 8-10 Mbps.
Unfortunately, these upgrades were done in profitable and city areas only.
4G LTE 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 5G network.
Therefore, mostly in rural area we can find the same old GPRS (2G) connection with speed below 1 Mbps.
5G – Under Planning Phase
In terms of 5G, there is no any initiation has been made except for 5G internet installed on Mt. Everest by Huawei, a Chinese company. However, the NTA is planning to launch 5G network very soon.
According to a report published by NTA for up to the period of 16 August, 2020 there are more than 22.9 million people are under access of different types of internet connection which is around 76.67% of total population of Nepal.
Is Internet Speed in Nepal Really Slow?
When we are talking about the condition of the internet speed in Nepal a reference is required for comparison.
So I acquired data from Speedtest.net. Speedtest.net is popular website which checks and stores data of internet speed tested over its site. This site provides data of 174 countries in the world.
According to the data collected by speedtest.net from the tests conducted by broadband/w-ifi internet users around the world, Nepal ranks at 111th position with an average speed of about 24.05 Mbps.
This shows the internet speed in Nepal is very lower than the world’s average speed (96.43 Mbps). Wi-Fi/broadband internet in the world has the highest speeds in Thailand (308.35 Mbps) and the lowest in Turkmenistan (3.09
Similarly, according to the data collected by Ookla from the test conducted by mobile internet users around the world. Nepal ranks at 115th position with a speed of about 18.42 Mbps.
This shows that the mobile internet speed in Nepal is again way lower than the world average (47.2 Mbps). However, the internet speed in Nepal is higher than that of India and is 14 places ahead of India (129st).
Why did I compared it with India?
Some of the so called fact channels on YouTube are claiming that the average internet speed in Nepal is below 256 Kbps. This doesn’t truly applies for average speed.
Mobile internet in the world has the highest speed in Qatar (178 Mbps) and lowest in Afghanistan (6.62
Conclusion : Is internet speed in Nepal Fast?
The Answer is not clear. But we cannot say it is slow. A connection that gives an average speed of 20 Mbps can fulfill almost every demand. So, in my opinion how far other technical aspects gone far the internet speed in Nepal is justifiable.