Telecommunications Service Providers

Telecommunication Service Providers in Nepal

Which mobile service do you use? Are you the subscriber of NTC or NCELL? I think there is something called SMART Cell too! Actually, there are three telecommunication service providers in Nepal. The Chaudhary Group (CG) is planning to start its much anticipated CG Telecom very soon. UTL is no longer operating in Nepal.

Telecommunication Service Providers Nepal
Source: Nepal Telecom

Telecom Operators in Nepal

Nepal Telecom

Actually, it’s short for Nepal Telecommunications Company (NTC). In fact, Nepal Telecom is the first mobile telecom service provider in Nepal. The Company enjoyed monopoly in telecom business until the United Telecom (UTL) emerged as a competition in 2003. The NTC is still the sole provider of fixed line, ISDN and leased-line services in Nepal. Though it is a public limited company, the government still holds 91.49 percent share of NTC. At present there are about 20 million subscribers of NTC services.


We know it as NCELL today. Actually, it started as “Mero Mobile” back in 2005. Later it was rebranded as NCELL in 2010 by TeliaSonera Group. After Axiata bought the company, it is known as NCELL Axiata. NCELL is a major competition to the government owned Nepal Telecom. Within a short period of time, NCELL has grown up to become one of the largest telecom service provider in Nepal. It is popular among young generations and corporate sectors for its coverage and fast data service. However, it is relatively expensive than Nepal Telecom.

Unlike Nepal Telecom, NCELL only provides GSM Service. It has over 17 million subscribers in total.

Smart Telecom

Very few people know about this latest addition to the list of Telecom Service Provider in Nepal. The company was established in 2008. Unlike NTC and NCELL, Smart Telecom has not been able to expand its services in many parts of Nepal. It has been able to expand its 4G service to major cities of Nepal like Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Pokhara. However, it has been gaining popularity among younger people because of its aggressive marketing and value-oriented offers and schemes.

Almost all people in Nepal has access to mobile telecom service from at least one of these telecom service providers. In some cases, a person may have both NTC and NCELL. The competition among these companies is what makes them to bring better service to its subscribers.

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