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Internet in Nepal

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Internet, phones and power in Nepal

 

Staying connected is more and more important in the modern world, so here’s our guide to all things technology in Nepal.

Quick Links

How good is the internet in Nepal?

Whilst internet speed isn’t super-fast in Nepal, it is rapidly improving and available in much of the country – even in some places you wouldn’t expect!

You’ll find that most hotels and lodges offer WIFI, and this will also be available in many cafes and restaurants. The connection quality can vary, and of course if you visit some less populated areas and rural communities then using the internet may not be possible.

Like everything else, internet can be affected by Nepal’s regular power outages.

Can I use 3G or 4G networks, and make phone calls?

You can! The best way to do this is to use a local SIM card, which you can insert into an unlocked handset. These SIM cards are available at Kathmandu Airport and many other places, and you can purchase data packages for a pretty reasonable price (e.g. 1GB costs around NRs 500 / US$5).

This will give you access to 3G and 4G networks throughout much of Nepal – you’ll even find that you can access the internet whilst trekking in much of the Annapurna region or heading to Everest Base Camp! You’ll also then have a Nepalese SIM and phone number, which can come in handy during your trip.

The two main companies with the best coverage are NCELL and NTC, and you may be asked to show your passport and visa when purchasing a SIM.

Alternatively, you can speak to your own mobile provider about roaming charges and data packages they offer for Nepal, but in our experience these can be significantly more expensive and not always reliable.

Power Outages in Nepal

Although internet connectivity in Nepal has developed rapidly over recent years, the country’s power network still has problems and power cuts are quite common. Things usually get back up and running fairly quickly, but it’s worth packing a torch and a portable power bank for your devices, just in case.

Plug sockets in Nepal

You’ll find a mix of sockets in Nepal, with types C,D and M all used. The standard voltage is 230V and the standard frequency 50Hz.

If you have a good universal adaptor then your existing electronics should work fine, but here’s some pictures so you know what to expect.

Buying electronics in Nepal

It may be tempting to buy those incredibly cheap Beats headphones you’ve found in a Nepali market, but be aware that they are likely to be counterfeited. The quality will not be the same, and they probably won’t last very long.

Genuine electronic brands can be bought in official stores, but the price will be similar to what you’d pay at home.

Keeping your devices safe

Whilst Nepal is a safe country and crime rates are very low compared to other destinations, the temptation for a low-income Nepali to get hold of an expensive iPhone is perhaps understandable. Muggings are not common, but opportunistic thefts do happen in Nepal, and it is wise not to be too flashy with your devices. Most hotels also offer safety boxes which are free to use, so if you aren’t taking your device out with you, please make use of these to avoid potential problems.

If you’re out and about, particularly in crowded areas, it’s best to keep your device in a front pocket or money belt to avoid being pickpocketed.

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