Nepal’s internet penetration is 18.28 per cent as of June, 2012, according to Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA).
Wow! That’s not bad for a country where the literacy rate is below 60 per cent.
And, most amazing thing is the growth rate of internet users. In 2010, the internet penetration was 3.69 per cent and it was 10.89 per cent in June, 2011.
However, the data is misleading. The growth rate, thus the penetration, do not reflect the actual growth of internet users in Nepal, rather it misleads. The misleading is due to the high number of users who uses internet through mobile phones.
If someone activates GPRS in the mobile SIM card and/or buys a 3G-enabled mobile SIM, the customer is counted as an internet user regardless of how much internet is actually used. In the graph above showing the growth of Internet users in Nepal, please note blue blocks, almost hidden below the big green blocks:
The green blocks represent internet users who access internet via mobile SIM cards and the blue blocks are internet users who subscribe internet in other fixed ways (such as dial-up, ADSL or DSL and cable connection). The growth of blue blocks seems more natural.
Here is a table with the numbers on Nepal’s internet users in last three years:
What I believe is there are a lot less internet users in Nepal than shown in those data tables for a few reasons:
- Not all those who have GPRS or 3G enabled SIM card access internet on their phones.
- Even if they do, they do it so little that they would not probably qualify as internet users.
- One person normally have more than one SIM card, and may also be fixed internet connection so it doesn’t actually reflect the internet penetration in population.
Do you agree or disagree with me?