In this article, I’ll be talking about the best internet service providers in Nepal. But please allow me to make a proper introduction first.
The internet has become an integral part of our modern-day life. So much so, that even the UN says internet access is a human right. From business requirements to personal entertainment to just basic digital socialization, our dependence on the web has rendered our lives into interconnected bliss; though I’d imagine many don’t share the same belief.
And with growing infrastructure, affordability, & subsequent accessibility, the total number of people connected to the web will only go uphill. According to the data from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), of the 7.75 billion worldwide population, 53.6% of them used the internet in 2019. In retrospect, the global penetration rate was just 48% in 2017 among the 7.4 billion population.
Moving on, we recently conducted a poll on our website to learn about our users’ preferences for the best internet service provider in Nepal. And the findings were very interesting. Vianet leads the poll with 37.64 percent of the total vote the last time we checked. Worldlink, on the other hand, won 35.78 percent of the vote, putting it in second place. Nepal Telecom is able to take third place, while Subisu and Classic Tech are able to take fifth and sixth place, respectively.
Internet usage growth trampled in Nepal by the price hikes
Unfortunately, while internet usage has grown over the years in Nepal as well, its cost remains a big issue. In a country like ours where the GDP per capita is just a little over a thousand USD, the government decided to levy an additional 13% Telecommunications Service Charge (TSC) on top of the 13% VAT and 4% royalty fees.
As a result, a survey from the A4AI (Alliance 4 Affordable Internet) places Nepal in the 39th position (among 61 low and middle-income countries); which is not that great. Then there’s the dilemma of selecting the correct ISP for you.
But before you go on scratching your head questioning the absolute best ISP in Nepal, let me tell you one thing – there isn’t one. What I mean is that there isn’t one objectively correct answer to the question “which is the best ISP in Nepal?” It mostly boils down to where you’re located. An ISP may have excellent service & positive customer references in one area and that may not reciprocate to other regions.
So, be sure to consult your neighbors on their internet subscription (if possible) before making your decision. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at our list of some of the best Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Nepal.
Ahead of moving forward (I know I’ve already dragged the intro but please bear with me here), we’re listing out internet plans from different ISPs for home/residential customers; and all the prices are exclusive of VAT. Also, though the internet plans of these ISPs may have the “unlimited” label suffixed to them, all of these have FUP restrictions. However, each company’s FUP policy is different.
Also read: What is FUP? (w/ Worldlink & Vianet)
Best Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Nepal:
Worldlink, which drives 43% of the internet bandwidth in Nepal, is the largest ISP and the third-largest telecommunications firm in the country. It marked 25 years of service back in 2020. The journey began with the introduction of the e-mail service in 1995, and the company has accomplished a lot in these years.
Worldlink signed a $12 million contract with UK’s CDC Group in October 2019 to expand the company’s facilities and operation in rural parts of Nepal. Furthermore, in partnership with Facebook, Worldlink provides free Wi-Fi and “my Worldlink” Wi-Fi (exclusive to Worldlink users) in over 10,000 locations throughout Nepal.
Moreover, the organization intends to extend the operation to 30,000 locations. It currently offers network coverage in 73 districts, including the most remote areas of Karnali.
Moving forward, the company offers six different plans based on speed: 20Mbps, 30Mbps, 40Mbps, 50Mbps, 60Mbps, and 80Mbps. These packages also provide a free NETTV standard connection, which requires you to use a set-top box to watch online content or TV.
Apart from that, the “myWorldlink” app is useful for tracking internet usage, reporting problems, changing Wi-Fi passwords, and so on. Worldlink is also offering major discounts on its plans as part of a new year campaign. Find out more about it here.
Other than this, every plan also comes with the following features:
- SafeNet: To monitor the usage and filter, block out any malicious contents on the web
- Time Back: Compensation against interrupted service due to internet outage or other reasons
- WiFi Mobility: As aforementioned, it is a partnership with Facebook Connectivity using their Express Wi-Fi platform to provide more than 10,000 hotspots across Nepal.
Worldlink Residential Broadband: Plans & Pricing
|Package Name||Max NetTV||Price|
|1 Month||3 Month||12 Month|
|20 Mbps||1||N/A||N/A||Rs. 13,200|
|30 Mbps||1||Rs. 1,550||Rs. 4,500||Rs. 14,400|
|40 Mbps||2||Rs. 1,850||Rs. 5,450||N/A|
|50 Mbps||2||N/A||N/A||Rs. 14,400|
|60 Mbps||3||Rs. 2,200||Rs. 6,450||Rs. 22,000|
|80 Mbps||3||N/A||N/A||Rs. 22,000|
There are also other additional charges for new customers which include:
- Refundable deposit: Rs. 500
- Fiber router rental: Free (12 months), Rs. 2,500 (1 / 3 months)
- Drop wire: Rs. 500 (1 / 3 months), Free (12 months)
- NetTV activation charge: Free (12 months), Rs. 2,500 (3 months), Rs. 3,000 (1 month)
- NetTV security deposit: Rs. 500
Subisu is another household name when it comes to digital TV & internet services in Nepal with a 7% market share. It was established in 2001 and Subisu is the only cable operator in Nepal to be ISO 9001:2015 and 27001:2013 certified. That should speak volumes in itself and thus reflect on its popularity.
However that was not the case a year ago, and now the company jumped and managed to be the second-largest ISP in Nepal. After Worldlink, Subisu has 146,782 fiber internet subscribers, pushing it to the second spot in the list of largest ISPs of Nepal.
Here, what’s interesting is, the company has introduced health insurance for the subscriber who renews or apply for a new connection. In the time of COVID, this might be helpful in many ways. Like other big names, Subisu has partnered with Clear TV and you can also get a month of the internet for free by referring Subisu to your friends or family.
You can opt for fiber internet with or without Clear TV. However, the bandwidth on the internet subscription without TV is limited to 45Mbps, and with TV you can subscribe up to 60Mbps.
Subisu Technology & Types of Internet Connections
In terms of technology, Subisu offers two: fiber, & wireless internet services. Here, fiber-based internet connection is the one through fiber-optic lines whereas wireless broadband is achieved based on radio frequencies (without cable). Among the two, fiber-optic is the optimal choice in most cases like connection quality, security, & total cost.
On the contrary, wireless internet can be a good option for those looking for low costs, quick installation, & the ability to access hotspots; all at the sacrifice of signal strength & network security.
But if you want to subscribe to wireless internet from Subisu, you should know that the company only provides this service outside of Kathmandu valley. Similarly, with wireless internet, you can not opt for Clear TV installation.
Subisu FTTH Home Internet: Plans & Pricing
|Package Name||Max Clear TV||Price|
|1 Month||3 Month||12 Month|
|20Mbps||–||Rs. 1400||Rs. 4050||Rs. 13,200|
|35Mbps||–||Rs. 1,450||Rs. 4200||Rs. 13,800|
|45Mbps||–||Rs. 1,550||Rs. 4,500||Rs. 15,000|
|30Mbps (w/ TV)||1||Rs. 1,550||Rs. 4,400||Rs. 14,500|
|40Mbps (w/ TV)||1||Rs. 1,850||Rs. 5,350||Rs. 17,000|
|60Mbps (w/ TV)||1||Rs. 2,200||Rs. 6,350||Rs. 21,500|
Now let’s look at the additional charges for first-time installation:
- Wire Charge: Rs. 885 (Rs. 1,327 for 1-month package)
- Set-Top Box Activation Charge: Rs. 1,770 (12 months), Rs. 2,655 (3 months), Rs. 3,097 (1 month)
- ONU Activation Charge: Rs. 885 (12 months), Rs. 1,770 (3 months), Rs. 2,212 (1 month)
Subisu Wireless Home Internet: Plans & Pricing
|1 Month||3 Months||6 Months||12 Months|
|2Mbps||Rs. 1,100||Rs. 3,150||Rs. 6,000||Rs. 10,800|
|3Mbps||Rs. 1,650||Rs. 4,800||Rs. 9,300||Rs. 17,400|
|5Mbps||Rs. 2,500||Rs. 7,350||Rs. 14,400||Rs. 27,600|
Here as well, there are some additional charges as one-time set-up costs:
- Single Antenna Router Cost: Rs. 1,500
- Device Activation Charge: Rs. 443 (12 months), Rs. 1,328 (6 months), Rs. 2,213 (3 months), Rs. 4,425 (1 month)
- Installation Charge: Rs. 1000 (1 Month), Rs. 500 (3 Months), Free (6/12 Months)
Vianet was established in 1999 and is now the third-largest ISP in Nepal, a one-step fall from the last year. The company’s FTTH service has a strong foothold, especially in Kathmandu valley with a lot of satisfied home & corporate users. Therefore, you may have seen many polls on the internet declaring Vianet as one of the best internet service providers in Nepal.
Vianet now provides its own ViaTV & VoD (Video on Demand) facilities. Despite its tag as one of the largest ISPs in Nepal, Vianet hasn’t been able to expand its business in several districts of Nepal. The company is currently operational in 18 districts, the remotest to be in Darchula, Khalanga.
Although Vianet’s reach is limited to some districts, the recent upgrade in Home plans makes it a better alternative among others. The company is offering bandwidth up to 100Mbps. And what’s more interesting is you do not need to pay an extra penny for it, meaning existing subscribers of 60Mbps subscription are upgraded to 100Mbps at no additional cost.
Here, on a yearly subscription, the 30Mbps package will be upgraded to 50Mbps, 40Mbps to 75Mbps, and 60Mbps to 100Mbps. Moreover, new subscribers can get a yearly plan along with installation and device charges in easy EMI payments with Vianet’s partner banks.
Furthermore, Vianet also includes the following features into its internet package:
- Ultraboost: Speed boosted up to 100Mbps for a fast workflow
- Service Assurance: Compensation against internet outage
- Viasecure: Monitoring & controlling contents on the web for child safety
Vianet All Guna-Sampanna: Plans & Pricing
|Package Name||Max ViaTV||Price|
|1 Month||3 Month||12 Month|
|Bhayankar 20 TV+||1||N/A||N/A||Rs. 9,600|
|Guna-Sampanna 30 TV+||1||Rs. 1,550||Rs. 4,500||Rs. 14,400 (Upgraded to 50Mbps)|
|Guna-Sampanna 40 2TV+||2||Rs. 1,850||Rs. 5,400||Rs. 17,400 (Upgraded to 75Mbps)|
|Guna-Sampanna 60 3TV+||3||Rs. 2,200||Rs. 6,450||Rs. 21,600 (Upgraded to 100Mbps)|
There are also other additional charges for new customers which include:
- Fiber WiFi Device Deposit: Rs. 500
- Installation Charge: Free (12 months), Rs. 2,500 (3 months), Rs. 3,000 (1 month)
- ViaTV STB Deposit: Rs. 500 (primary & secondary)
- ViaTV STB Activation (Primary): Free (12 months), Rs. 1,000 (3 months), Rs. 1,500 (1 month)
- ViaTV STB Activation (Secondary): Rs. 2,000
4. Classic Tech
Classic Tech is another big name in the Nepalese ISP industry. Primarily known for its outrageously aggressive schemes & offers, the company currently ranks in 4th position on top ISPs of Nepal. Established in 2009, Classic Tech offers FTTH based internet with Classic Prabhu TV; which is the first DVBT2 (Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial) service in Nepal.
Moreover, just like Vianet, Classic recently introduced 100Mbps bandwidth on home plans. The pricing is similar too. But, the company has pulled of providing extra 2 months of internet on subscribing to the yearly package.
Classic Tech Home: Plans & Pricing
|Package Name||Max Classic Prabhu TV||Price|
|1 Month||3 Month||6 Months||12 Month|
|Classic-Plus-30Mbps||1||Rs. 1,550||Rs. 3,150||Rs. 5,670||Rs. 10,500|
|Classic-Plus-40Mbps||1||Rs. 1,850||Rs. 3,814||Rs. 6,300||Rs. 12,247|
The additional charges levied on first-time installations are as follows:
- WiFi Fiber Router Rental: Rs. 500 (6 months), Rs. 1000 (1 / 3 months)
- FTTH Cable: Rs. 500 (1 / 3 months, free for other)
- ONU Deposit: Rs. 500
- Classic Prabhu TV STB Deposit: Rs. 500 (primary & secondary)
- Classic Prabhu TV STB Activation: Rs. 1500 (primary and free for Toofan packages), Rs. 1,500 (secondary, on Toofan packages only)
5. Nepal Telecom FTTH
Finally, we have dear old Nepal Telecom’s own FTTH internet. Though people throw major shade at its notoriously slow ADSL-based internet services, believe it or not, there have been quite some positive responses to this.
The company has been able to distribute more than 60,000 fiber connections in the past 10 month lockdown period. NT Fiber is now available in 25 districts across the country, with speeds ranging from 10Mbps to 60Mbps in different plans and packages.
Despite looking like a viable alternative, its registration process is tediously old-school:
- Download the FTTH registration form, fill it up, and then submit it to the nearest Nepal Telecom (NT) service counter.
- Then, NT will carry out the site survey & estimation for possible plans regarding installation.
- Once everything checks out, NT will carry out the process and then provide a username & password for login.
Yeah… really not appealing to the younger generation of viable customers. Hence, it definitely won’t be in most people’s pick for one of the best internet service providers in Nepal. It also has a really limiting FUP policy which may not be suitable for many people out there.
NTC FTTH FUP Limits:
|FTTH Package||Monthly Volume||Daily Volume|
As a result, Nepal Telecom’s FTTH is only suitable for those who use the internet on a need-to basis; someone who doesn’t require excessive bandwidth.
Moving on, you can now subscribe to a premium or basic NTTV package. NTC distributes its connections in 3 ways: Individual Package, NT FTTH with Basic NTTV + free telephone, and NT FTTH with Premium NTTV + free telephone. Let’s check out the pricing of different NT FTTH packages.
NTC FTTH Individual: Plans & Pricing
|1 Month||3 Months||12 Months|
|10Mbps||Rs. 900||Rs. 2,600||Rs. 10,000|
|20Mbps||Rs. 1,200||Rs. 3,400||Rs. 12,500|
|50Mbps||Rs. 1,800||Rs. 5,050||Rs. 19,000|
FTTH Internet with Basic NTTV Package
|Package||1 month||3 months||12 months|
|15mbps Unlimited Internet||Rs. 1,230||Rs. 3,530||Rs. 13,220|
|Basic NTTV + FREE Telephone||Rs. 480||Rs. 1,440||Rs. 5,760|
NTC FTTH Internet with Premium NTTV Package
|Package||1 Month||3 Months||12 Months|
|15 Mbps Unlimited Internet||Rs. 1,400||Rs. 4,100||Rs. 15,000|
|30 Mbps Unlimited Internet||Rs. 1,750||Rs. 5,000||Rs. 18,100|
|40 Mbps Unlimited Internet||Rs. 2,050||Rs. 6,000||Rs. 19,700|
|60 Mbps Unlimited Internet||Rs. 2,450||Rs. 7,200||Rs. 24,500|
|Premium NTTV + FREE Telephone||Rs. 800||Rs. 2,350||Rs. 8,300|
Now, let’s look at the additional tariffs of Nepal Telecom on the first-time installation:
- WiFi Fiber Router Rental: Rs. 1165 (1 / 3 months), Rs. 1830 (w/ telephone from same router), Free (12 months)
- NTTV STB Deposit: Rs. 3,955 (For Basic), Rs. 2825 (For Premium)
Summary list of best Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Nepal
Like we mentioned in the beginning, there’s no one right answer when it comes to answering the question “which is the best ISP in Nepal?” So, this listing is entirely based on each company’s subscriber volume instead.
|S. No.||Best internet service providers in Nepal|
|5||Nepal Telecom FTTH|
So that was it for our list of the best internet service providers (ISP) in Nepal. Like I said in the beginning, there isn’t a single best among these, and your location is definitely a major factor defining their performance. But obviously, ISPs like Worldlink & Vianet offer a wider range of services in their internet subscription.
And that may be of great significance to userbase like families & such. Therefore, it is necessary to determine your usage volume, conduct proper research about the particular ISP’s reputation in your community before going for it.