According to the Management Information System (MIS) report released by Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), data subscription has soared 42.33 percent in the past five years.
The internet penetration rate in Nepal has reached up to 58 percent compared to 16 percent five years back due to the affordability of smartphones and gradual decline in the price of data connectivity.
The table below clearly shows the drastic growth in data penetration and voice segment penetration during a five-year interval.
|#||March 2012||March 2017|
|Data penetration (in percentage)||15.75||58.08|
|Voice segment penetration (in percentage)||58.66||123.9|
Both data and voice service have witnessed a sharp growth in the past five years. However, the demand for data service is on the rise overtaking voice.
Customers use data service for knowledge gathering, social networking, and professional use due to which there is a steady rise in the growth of the data service.
Telecommunication experts predict that the market will maintain the same pace. Due to which the company has planned to stay focus on data in recent years. Also, the company has been bringing different schemes in data.
More than 550,000 customers had subscribed 4G by April-end. The service is currently available in Kathmandu and some selected areas of Pokhara. Also, the Ncell’s 4G service extends to Kathmandu, Nagarkot, Banepa, and Dhulikhel. And, the company is planning to test the 4G in 40 other cities with the aim to provide the Internet service to 15 percent of the country’s population by the end of 2017.
NT, the state-owned company is leading the market with nearly 7.92 million data subscribers using GPRS, EDGE and WCDMA technology while Ncell has 6.73 million data subscribers.
The growing use of smartphones has driven the growth of data.