KATHMANDU, Oct 8: Among the six companies providing telecommunication services in the country, progress of four companies has been disappointing. Except for the government-owned Nepal Telecom (NT) and privately-owned Ncell, who have a combined total of 93 percent of the market share, the performance of other four companies is dismal.
According to Management Information System (MIS) report published by Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA), NT has a total 49 percent of the market share, while Ncell covers 44 percent of the market. The other four companies -- United Telecom Ltd (UTL), STM Telecom, Smart Telecom and Nepal Satellite -- have a combined market share of just seven percent.
According to the report, UTL occupies one percent of the market, Smart Telecom five percent, STM 0.01 percent, and Nepal Satellite one percent. The progress of these four companies has been disappointing in the last five years. In 2013, these four companies had a total of eight percent market share.
A previous report published in August 2013 showed that UTL had three percent, Smart Telecom three percent, STM zero percent, and Nepal Satellite one percent of the total market share.
During the five years' period, the market share of UTL has slipped down from three percent to one percent while that of Smart Telecom has gone up to five percent from four. STM has progressed to 0.01 percent whereas Nepal Satellite has remained in the same position.
With one percent increase in the market share, Smart Telecom seems to be progressing to some extent. It got permission from NTA three months ago to operate 4G service. It is planning to start distributing 4G SIM cards in near future. The company has said that currently it has been providing telecom services to more than 1.4 million users in 34 districts.
As mentioned in the NTA report, UTL, which was established in 2001, has established 198 BTS towers till date. It has been providing services in seven districts of the eastern region, 15 districts of the central region, four districts of the mid-western region and four districts of the far-western region. Recently there are around 600,000 UTL users.
According to the NTA report, STM has only 3000 customers including all PCO, PSTN, and limited mobility users. STM, which was established in 2003, could not make progress for long, leading to cancellation of its permission by the NTA for limited mobility services in 34 districts. Likewise, Nepal Satellite that was established in 2005 has been providing services to more than 70,000 customers through its 204 BTS towers.
On the other hand, Nepal Telecom that had 43 percent of the market share in 2013 has increased its market share to 49 percent this year. However, the market share of Ncell went down a little bit. In 2013, Ncell had 49 percent of the market share which has gone down to 44 percent this year.
Though the market share of Ncell has declined, the number of its customers has increased, leading to an increase in income.
Meanwhile, NT and Ncell cover 97 percent of total data market. NT covers 52.02 percent and Ncell covers 44.99 percent of the total market for data. Other four telecommunication and internet service provider (ISP) companies have only three percent of the data market share.