The first-ever history of telecommunications began with the use of smoke signals and drums in Africa and Asia. And the first-ever electrical telecommunication systems back to the 1830s.
Since then, the telecommunications sector of the world has soared peaks once imagined impossible. Telecommunications in Nepal has been reaching many turning points and setting milestones. We are here to take a look back at the amazing journey.
Telecommunications in Nepal
Telecom service in Nepal was formally provided after the establishment of “Mohan Akashwani” in B.S 2005. Slowly as the plans went on, the first Telecommunication Department was established in B.S 2016 which was later converted into Telecommunications Development Board.
In 1913, Nepal’s first telephone lines were established. At these times owning a telephone was a very new idea and very few people had actual telephones. A single house in a community had a telephone which was used by them all. We have come a long way since.
After the Communications Corporation Act 2028, it was formally established as a Government Corporation known as Nepal Telecommunications Corporation, which after 29 years of service is now known as Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited but better known to the public by its registered trademark, Nepal Telecom. Since then, there are currently six telecom operating companies in Nepal and most of them are heavily invested by foreign brands.
Although optical fiber seems more like current news, it was already installed back in 1995. The Internet Service was launched in Nepal in 2000 by Nepal Telecom and the bandwidth was expanded via an optical link between India and Nepal 7 years later. In the same year, 2007 3G was brought in our GSM Mobile Phones.
In the following years, there were some major releases like Broadband ADSL Services, Postpaid CDMA services, High-speed data cards, and High-speed internet launched by Ncell. These were some of the milestones the telecom industry passed, in the current times there are some more new transformations.
According to the NTA Data of 2016, the six telecommunications companies are:
- Nepal Telecom (NTC)
- Smart Telecom
- Nepal Satellite a.k.a Hello mobile
- CG Telecom, previously STM
UTL, NSTPL, and CG Telecom have not been operating their mobile network yet, leaving the NTC, Ncell, and Smartcell as the widely used companies.
Telecommunication services and the Internet were once a luxury and now almost every house has them. According to the NTA data, there are 18,685,873 Internet users and 39,988,752 mobile phone subscribers! This means 97.65% of 26.49 million people in the country have access to telephone service back in 2014.
In addition to national coverage and access, there have been some more advancements made by the telecommunication sector in Nepal.
In 2016, Axiata, a Malaysian company bought an 80% stake in ncell, and the following year NTC, Ncell, and Smart cell launched the 4G network. And perhaps a bigger recent accomplishment is that in 2020 all 77 districts of Nepal got access to the 4g network.
In 2019, Nepal launched its first satellite to the International Space Station, bird NPL, and in 2021 NTA also plans on releasing a telecom satellite to space! This can help save a lot of money for Nepal in renting out satellites for broadband networks and the internet.
After sending out a satellite to space what could come next? Providing WiFi on board! Another recent achievement by NTA is that it has started serving the Internet to International flights. This makes Nepal the third country in South Asia to do so! They have already approved three airlines which have appl
There are preparations for 5G now! Pilot projects are being set up to bring in 5G networks in Kathmandu this fiscal year by Nepal Telecom.
Also Read: Does Nepal need 5G now?
And just when you think there are not more possible new upgrades, think again!
Nepal is also introducing mobile money, the balance in our mobile phones can now be used to buy things! It allows offline services too and can bring in competition for digital wallets.
Nepal has gone through drastic changes from the beginning to where it is now. Although it still may not have some more crazy technology like other countries, it has come a long way from where it once was. The telecommunications market is passing and creating new records for itself and we are ready for whatever more is to come.