Nepal Telecom (NT), the market leader among 40+ internet service providers in Nepal toppling Ncell has launched WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) based WiFi service named “NTC WiFi” with more than 400 hotspots throughout the country. Aiming to provide wireless broadband internet service in all of the major cities including high-traffic places like hospitals, restaurants, colleges, shopping malls and tourists hubs in Nepal, the service was started 3 months ago.
The service was free till Baisakh 15 as a trial which attracted many internet users tired of poor wireless internet service and high charge of cybers. The service was launched at various hubs like Tribhuvan International Airport, Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre, Basantapur Durbar Square Area and different offices of Nepal Telecom at the first stage also as a part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Currently, the service is expanded to Baitadi, Bara, Chitwan, Dhankuta, Dhanusa, Jhapa, Kaski, Kanchanpur, Jumla, Nepalgunj, Sunsari and other places apart from Kathmandu Valley. The list of NT WiFi hotspots can be obtained from here. NT, the state-owned telecom company has estimated an investment of around RS 100 million for the service infrastructure. Detailed info for WiFi Hotspots can be heard from Notice Board number 1618070749434
How to activate?
The service can be activated by sending SMS to 1416 with word “WiFi”. It will then send password which activates the internet to the users. The username will be the subscriber’s mobile number. Then you need to connect to “NT WiFi” in Wi-Fi settings of the laptop, mobile or PADs and browse the web from favorite internet browser where you need to the inter-mobile number on “username” box and password obtained from the message on “password” box. Currently, the service can be activated only through Nepal Telecom’s GSM mobile number (Postpaid and Prepaid) but NT is planning to expand the service for subscribers of other telecom operator’s also.
Charge and Speed:
The charge for the service is fixed RS 10 per hour which will be valid for 24 hours from the time of activation. That means you can connect to the WiFi for 60 minutes as per your wish at any time within a day and enjoy the speed of 512 Kbps. The WiFi service will be available in the range of 100 to 150 meters from hotspots depending upon the nature of obstructions and interference in the surrounding area.
Is NT WiFi displacing cyber operators?
Cyber operators who were in a state of frustration due to 12 hours of load shedding daily are in tension because of NT WiFi service. Some of the operators were charging more than 30 RS per hour citing load shedding are seeing a reduction in customer number because of the cheaper and reliable Nepal Telecom’s internet service.
As users still rely on wireless networks, the largest telecom operator of Nepal is aggressively expanding wireless internet services including WiMAX, 3G, EVDO. Meanwhile, NCELL is also providing unlimited internet service but with very lesser speed after certainly paid bandwidth is crossed. Currently, there are 43 internet service providers (ISP) in Nepal among which Nepal Telecom is the largest placing NCELL in the second position. The introduction of various wireless internet services and rapid expansion throughout the various parts of the country has made the state-owned telecom operator stronger in the competition.