Nepal Telecom wants to reach all corners of the country and get to each place of 77 districts. Therefore they have GSM service, FTTH, and NTC WiFi. They actually want to expand their FTTH service so that people can enjoy triple play which brings internet, telephone, and TV all in one package. However, Nepal’s terrain is challenging for infrastructure expansion. Thus laying optical fiber and building infrastructure to support that can take time. So, Nepal Telecom has brought Namaste Wi-Fi to provide high-speed internet wirelessly.
It is the duty of the Nepal Government to make communication accessible to all. So NTC being a government company works on achieving that goal. Namaste WiFi is the result of the better reach target. The NTC WiFi or Namaster WiFi was launched in 2022 and it provides internet with help of 4G spectrum. This service provides both data and telephone service where fixed broadband is not available.
Nepal Telecom has partnered with Cybernetics Pvt. Ltd. to provide Customer premises equipment (CPE) or router with 4G NTC WiFi service. The CPE comes with a 4G SIM so that communication can be established. NTC actually has two packages which include the ‘Individual Package’ and the ‘Government Institution Package’. We only have publicly available information on the Individual Package. The institution or government service package is an internal government service and may also be B2B.
Namaste Wi-Fi Packages: NTC WiFi Price, Offers
Let us make one thing clear on wireless service. There are three types of WiFi services from Nepal Telecom. At first, we have ‘NT WiFi’ which is a WiFi hotspot service from NTC. These hotspots are available at popular places just like ‘FreeWorldlink Wi-Fi’ that we see in many places such as restaurants and public places. However, these are very rare to find and it surprises us that NTC actually is not utilizing the potential it has. They can also provide free WiFi and data scheme to FTTH consumers like Worldlink and improve their customer numbers.
Secondly, there is ‘Namaste Wi-Fi’ or this actual service that we are discussing in this article. A 4G SIM card is used inside a CPE to provide data and voice service. Thirdly there is WiFi that originates from the FTTH router that NTC provides to fixed internet or telephone users.
Here in this article, we are just discussing the NTC WiFi package price for Namaste WiFi. Nepal Telecom is providing CPE or router in the package to first time users. The prices for first-time and renewal are different because renewal is exempt from router costs. The cheapest NTC WiFi price in nepal starts at Rs 9,499/year.
|Type||Package||Speed||FUP Limit / Day||Speed After FUP||Renew Price||New Connection Price|
|Data Only||Unlimited Basic||5 Mbps||10 GB||1.5 Mbps||9,499 (1 Yr)/ 4,999 (6 Months)||10,499 (1 Yr)/ 5,999 (6 Months)|
|Data Only||Unlimited Premium||10 Mbps||15 GB||2 Mbps||15,499 (1 Yr)/ 7,999 (6 Months)||16,499 (1 Yr)/ 8,999 (6 Months)|
|Data & Voice||Unlimited Basic with Voice||5 Mbps||10 GB||1.5 Mbps||12,499 (1 Yr)/ 6,499 (6 Months)||13,499 (1 Yr)/ 7,499 (6 Months)|
|Data & Voice||Unlimited Premium with Voice||10 Mbps||15 GB||2 Mbps||18,499 (1 Yr)/ 9,499 (6 Months)||19,499 (1 Yr)/ 10,499 (6 Months)|
The prices are quite high if we compare them to the fixed broadband service of any other ISP or even from Nepal Telecom. The cheapest package is somewhat close to the price of NTC ADSL service. However, we have to understand that this is a GSM-based service that uses 4G to give data and voice.
Also Read: Best ISP in Nepal
Voice/ Call Time with Namaste WiFi
In the Data & Voice packs of NTC WiFi, there is a feature of voice service as well. In this scheme or package, calling service is also offered with help of CPE or router. We can enjoy voice calls using a telephone set connected to the router. Currently, all the data and voice packages have 400 minutes of NTC-NTC call time and 100 minutes off-network call time per month available.
This means even if we have half year or whole-year package, we get 400 minutes of talk time within the network and 100 minutes of talk time out of the NTC network each month. These talk times are included in the package price and are free. Additional talk time can attract additional charges.
FUP / Data Limit
The Namaste WiFi is a SIM-based wireless service so there is some restriction. The first restriction is the speed limit because 4G has connection limitations. Moreover, the speed limitation comes from terrain, tower distance, and network congestion. Secondly, the restriction also comes in form of FUP. The data consumption limit is placed by ISP or telecom companies in both mobile data and fixed broadband. We know that this is contradictory to the word ‘Unlimited’. As there is a restriction in high-speed data or bandwidth, it can’t be called unlimited but it is the reality in this world of data business.
Nepal Telecom has also placed a FUP limit on all of their WiFi packages. In the basic package, only 5 Mbps speed is allowed for data up to 10 GB. After the consumption of 10 GB of data, the fallback speed is 1.5 Mbps. Similarly in the Premium package, 10 Mbps is allowed for data up to 15 GB. After that fallback speed is 2 Mbps.
CPE, Router, Installation, Voice Services
Namaste WiFi uses a CPE that can take 4G capable GSM SIM. It uses the SIM to connect to the network. Then it provides internet and telephone service. For telephone service, the CPE or router has an RJ11 port. We customers need to buy the RJ11 jack, wire, and telephone set ourselves from the market if we wish to buy the package with voice and enjoy telephone service. This service allows us to hook up a telephone set in the router and use it as a landline.
In the case of CPE, there are three types of CPE for Namaste WiFi. The first one is an ‘Indoor device’ which looks like a normal router. It is useful for homes and offices. Then there is the ‘Outdoor device’ which is suitable for buses, vehicles, and places where the signal is weak. The third one is the pocket device for traveling and even for home if we wish. The pocket one is a 4G WiFi router for this generation. In past, the company also had a 3G WiFi router or USB dongle.
NTC WiFi router price in Nepal is about Rs 1,000 for indoor CPE. This price is derived from the publicly available tariff list of first-time connections. Therefore this is not the actual price because NTC is not selling the WiFi router or Namaste WiFi CPE separately. They just have two price lists where one is a renewal and one is a first-time. The difference between the price of the renewal package and the first-time package is Rs 1,000 which concludes that the cost for the customer is Rs 1,000.
In terms of installation, the CPE is quite small and installation can be easily done by users too. We can just buy the equipment from the Nepal Telecom office and install it in our home. If we just need WiFi then the device naturally does that. In case we need voice then it is just about putting the RJ11 jack inside the port and connecting the telephone. In case any assistance is needed, help can be requested at NTC offices.
We have to understand that RJ11 is only available in normal indoor CPE and not pocket WiFi routers. The NTC pocket WiFi package is quite compact but it is feature restricted. We can also get a third-party pocket router from market as well.
Usage: Rural, Mountain, Buses
People who live in urban places, cities, towns, and even villages now have access to fiber internet services. However, there are many places where such internet infrastructure has not been reached. Mostly in hilly areas, mountain regions, and remote areas fixed broadband has not been reached. However mobile service has already reached there. Many places have 3G but now almost all places are even getting 4G. So this is where Namaste WiFi comes to help.
In places where fixed broadband is not available, people can use mobile services or 4G to get data and voice. The 4G service or cell signal doesn’t need physical wires and poles so the deployment is easy. This technology thus removes barriers of physical and geographical difficulty. Therefore NTC WiFi is a great solution for such places in Nepal.
Now another usage of this Namaste WiFi is in buses. Actually, in the past, there was NTC WiMax service for buses. But WiMax is being slowly replaced with 4G and 5G. We also didn’t see wider acceptance of WiMax in Nepal. We can sometimes see that many long-distance and even city buses have towers of WiMax at the top of the bus but there is no WiFi. So Namste Wi-Fi can be a replacement solution.
4G has a wider reach than WiMax and it has a wider network because naturally, NTC has bigger cellphone coverage. So bus owners and bus operators can install NTC WiFi routers in their buses to provide free WiFi to their users. As of now the FUP limit for the individual packages is quite low so it would be better if bus operators do get special packages and prices. This could be beneficial for travelers and operators. So if NTC WiFi price in Nepal are reasonable and networks are more accessible, this service can be a boon for many people.