full version Introduction Of Telecommunication Industry Of Nepal Essay

Introduction Of Telecommunication Industry Of Nepal

Category: Business

Autor: monstr_55 19 November 2009

Words: 5226 | Pages: 21


A telecommunication system consists of three basic elements: a transmitter that takes information and converts it to a signal; a transmission medium that carries the signal; and, a receiver that receives the signal and converts it back into usable information. The world history of development of telecommunication is very long. But the history of telecommunication in Nepal is rather very young as compared to the history and culture of Nepalese people. Telecommunication was introduced with the installation of open wire trunk telephone line between Kathmandu and Birgunj (a boarder town in southern Nepal) for the first time in Nepal around 1914 beginning of the First World War.

Until 2003, Nepal Telecom (NT) formerly known as Nepal Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) was the only state owned telecommunication company of Nepal. Using liberalization policy and involving the private sector in a competitive environment for the development and expansion of telecommunication sector in Nepal, then His Majesty's Government of Nepal's decision dated December 25, 1995 had initiated the involvement of the private sector in the development of the telecommunication services. Then, United Telecom Limited started providing services in 2003. NTC was converted into a Public Limited Company on April 14, 2004. Nepal Telecommunications Authority as an autonomous regulatory body has been established on March 4, 1998 as stipulated within the framework of the Telecommunication Act 1997 A.D. and Telecommunication Regulation 1997 A.D. Spice Nepal Private Ltd., popularly known under its brand name "Mero Mobile", is the first private GSM mobile operator in Nepal. The company was established in 2004.


A business model describes how the enterprise produces, delivers, and sells a product or service, showing how the enterprise delivers value to customers and how it creates wealth. Telecommunication industry consists of different businesses and hence various distinct models. For this project we have analyzed cellular mobile service. In Nepal, basically there are two types of the services viz. GSM and CDMA. The business models used for both the services are in two forms; post paid and pre-paid. These services are available only physically from the telecommunication firms after filling up required forms and paying pre allocated fees. Telecom generates revenue both from the sales of SIM/ RUIM cards and through the call charges made by the use of cellular services. Post paid services require the payments to be made on monthly basis while the prepaid service requires the charges to be made in prior through recharge cards. These recharge cards are made available by the corresponding telecom company at local retail outlets.


As mentioned earlier, the business models used for the cellular service is only in the physically forms. There is no distinct application of IT in providing the pre and post paid services. But extensive use of web based application for providing value added services are enabled for both the models. However the recharge services for prepaid model use IT application for the recharge process itself as well as for recharging through internet and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). The firms in the telecommunication industry are competing through providing various web bases services such as MMS, PBRT, Websms, SMS2Email, GPRS as VAS and other subsidiary services like Miss call notification, Wake up call notification. These companies claim that these internet application are providing competitive edge by attracting customers and distinguishing it from the rivals. The profile and the IT enable businesses of three firms in the telecommunication industry of Nepal is presented below.


Profile: Registered as Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited on 2060-10-22 BS under the Company Act 2053.
The central office: Bhadrakali, Kathamndu;
Branches and Exchanges: extended in 184 locations within the country. The company, Employees: 55, 000
Customer base: 750,000
Core businesses: PSTN – 520,261 lines and GSM Mobile phones- 1219,094 lines as on Mangsir 2064 which covers 95.7% of the total telephone subscribers of Nepal.

In these 30 years of operations, Nepal Telecom has undergone number of changes in technology along with the continuous development and the globalization. The privatization has brought significant changes in business logic but the business models still remains unchanged and even has helped to effectively improve.


Nepal Telecom’s core business is communication services which include PSTN services, GSM Mobile, Internet, lease line, 3G Mobile, telex, CDMA mobile. Its secondary business is operating switching permission to other telecom companies. The major chunk of revenue is generated from the bank deposits in the form of interest.

Nepal Telecom has been actively involved in the business of physical market place. The presence in the electronic market space is very minimal and the major projects are under planning. Nepal Telecom is highly equipped with country wide telecom infrastructure which is the competitive advantage over the rivalry in the industry. Nepal Telecom has highly implemented IT in customer service rather than in core business. The company has been highly implementing information technology in customer billing payment. The other IT focuses is on internal integration of the functional units and managerial planning process. The company has centralized the billing payment and revenue collection.


The current business model of NT do not use IT based applications. It has been enabling the value adding services through IT such as Websms and bill inquiry for post paid clients. NT has provided facility to recharge prepaid mobile through the ATMs, presently from Nepal Investment Bank, is another distinct value adding service.

In contrast to the current business model, due to the revolution in the technology in global arena, NT has been in pressure from national public as well as international clients to enable the business model through IT. So, Nepal Telecom is in planning phase of IT enabled business models to be adopted in its core business too. The company has been in intensive planning to adopt MIS and ERP implementation which is expected very shortly as they have already announced for the global tender for ERP implementation. The company has expected to enable its business highly from electronic model of business. The company has predicted to upgrade its technology to ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line) which is based upon packet system, is supposed to eliminate the traditional switch base (circuit base) service. The packet system helps to add the value on existing service as it can be used for multi purpose due to its capability of high data transfer facility.

As the other companies are also inducing the high tech technologies and enabling their business through IT so Nepal Telecom personnel Mr. Suman Shakya predicts that the competition will focused more on quality. The quality service will be the leading and competing factor but not only the infrastructure.

Other value added services provided by NT using web based appilications are as follows;
Caller Ring Back Tones (CRBT), Mobile Bill, Web SMS, Electronic Recharge Card Service.


Profile: Popularly known as "Mero Mobile", Spice Nepal Private Limited is the first private GSM mobile operator in Nepal. The company was established in 2004 and commercially launched on 17th September 2005. The service extends in major areas of Nepal such as: Dhulikhel, Banepa, Nagarkot (surroundings of Kathmandu Valley) Bharatpur / Chitwan, Hetauda, Birgunj, Simara, Biratnagar, Itahari, Birtamod, Chandragadi, Kakarvitta, Dharan, Duhabi, Rajbiraj, Lahan, Malangawa, Nijgadh, Dhalkebar, Janakpur (Eastern part of Nepal), Pokhara, Butwal, Bardagath, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj (Western part of Nepal), Dhangadhi. Mero Mobile is tied up with many different international Operators of more than 31 countries adding up to 74 operators around the world.

Profile of the current business, both marketplace (physical) and market space (electronic)

The core business of SNPL is providing GSM mobile service which includes sales of sim card and wireless voice module service. The sales of the sim card are physically by filling up required firms through the firm’s sales counters and its local agents. Other related services enabled through internet are GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), PRBT (Personal Ring Back Tone), Voice call, SMS, Voice Mail, Sms2Email, Missed Call Notification, and related value added services. Mero mobile operates on dual band frequency; 900 MHz and 1800 MHz and also allows effective and higher capacity and data transfer for services like GPRS and EDGE.

The company claims that it is leading in providing intermediate service in GSM and is first in technology testing related to the sector. It is market leader in new technology and value added service.

Key (current and emerging) business model in the industry

The distribution of Mero Mobile sim card is prompt and on demand basis. IT is not used for the distribution process but is used for vendor identification of suppliers and customer care management in its Value Chain. Customer care service and value addition services are competitive advantage over its rivals through the use of Information Technology as claimed by the IT officer.

Information Technology is an integral part of functional activities (Marketing, HR, Finance and Sales) for the company and also is highly implemented for providing services (business) through SNPL’s website. The company do not uses MIS system but is extensively using features of the ERP system for co-ordination and regulation of functional units for consolidated activities. Automated interdepartmental emailing, file sharing features and interdepartmental meeting schedulers are the core features of the system incorporated between different functional units. According to the interview with IT officer at SNPL, for the current period, ERP system as a whole will be expensive and even unnecessary for the scale of business SNPL undergoes.

There are two customer care centers located in Kathmandu and Lalitpur and four distributors which act as agents for all the regional distribution process. The distributors use websites and emails to bid and request for sim cards. However the use of website for enabling customers to purchase the sim cards is regarded as infeasible. The primary reasons are the accessibility and affordability of internet connectivity throughout the country besides some major cities like Pokhara and Kathmandu. Also, there is no intact government regulation for online transaction. The customers are required to fill the forms and even use finger stamps which are not enabled by the existing cyber law. Hence the IT officer claims that the customers are not web based and the complete integration of IT for enabling the distribution of sim card is still not possible in near future. But IT enabled business services to provide value addition service are extensively used in the present and will grow extensively as a competitive and business excelling tools in the coming five years.

The focus of the company in the coming years will be on value added services and expansion of its data and voice related services. IP phones will be introduced which will provide high speed internet connectivity. Some of the main IT enabled mobile services in the present are; WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) or EGPRS, PRBT (pre-define-specific Ring Back Tone) and SMS2Email.


Profile: United Telecom Limited (UTL) is a consortium of 4 companies, who have come together in a joint venture to explore various telecom opportunities in Nepal. UTL had participated in the tender floated by NTA for Basic Services Based on WLL Technology for the then Kingdom of Nepal. After going through all NTA requirements, UTL was awarded the Letter of Intent by NTA to provide WLL based services, International Long Distance, Domestic Long Distance and Lease Lines Services. Further the LOI was converted in October 4, 2002 to a 25 year license.

Profile of the current business, both marketplace (physical) and market space (electronic)

UTL provides mobile service based on WLL and uses CDMA technology. Both pre and post paid business models are offered and are provided impromptu from the firm’s sales unit. Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology is the state-of-the-art technology offering reliable service with high-speed data capability. UTL has procured the equipment, which offers the following features; CDMA 3G 1X(IS-2000)
with Voice, G3 Fax and Data. This 3G 1X (Third Generation Technology) allows the subscribers to have the instant data transfer/connectivity with high speeds up to 144 kbps. This technology enables easier/smooth migration to other higher EVDO/EVDV systems (i.e. data only and /or data with voice systems).

Besides the sales and voice transfer UTL also offers value added services and customer based services through its websites. The system, in addition to voice and data services, would be capable of providing the following features:
o Wake-up Call/ Reminder Facility
o Abbreviated Dialing
o Call forwarding
o Call Transfer
o Call Waiting (Call Alert)
o Dynamic STD/ ISD facility
o Call Hunting Facility/Mobile Access Hunting
o Voice Mail Service(VMS)
o G3 Fax
o Data Service
o SLA( Selective Line Access)
o Conference Calling
o Three Way Call (TWC)
o Conference Calling (CC)
o CLIP( Calling Line Identification Presentation)

Key (current and emerging) business model in the industry

The business model for the Wireless Local Loop (WLL) technology that UTL conduct is “UTL is able to deliver telephones to local communities within hours rather than every days or weeks or months”. The business model of UTL takes the advantages of the fact that the people of Nepal find it difficult to get the telephone connection or GSM service provided by the only player, i.e NTC. Also the business model exists because of the people’s need for over demand and less supply of this service.

In addition, migration to the future 3G systems (CDMA 2000 3X/ IMT-2000/NGN- Next Generation Network), which are likely to be popular in the coming decades, is possible. The proposed 3G 1X technology/ system allows easy and smooth backward compatibility to the IS-95A and IS-95B. It is, therefore, expected that this technology/state of art equipment will not obsolesce for several decades. The system offers a wide range of supplementary services and has the capability to support Intelligence Network (IN) services.

Market power and market share:

The subscriber base of incumbent NDCL has reached 8, 68,046 whereas that of Spice Nepal is 7, 02,975 hence a total of 15, 71,021 subscribers. The number of postpaid subscribers has gone down by 1644. NDCL distributed 2,629 new lines in the last quarter whereas SNPL distributed 2, 12,260 lines in the same period. SNPL now holds 44.75% of the market share, 8.75% more than the previous quarter whereas that of NDCL continued to decrease in this quarter as well, going down to 55.25%. The mobile customer base is growing basically due to prepaid mobile scheme, which has crossed the 1.5 million mark at the end of this quarter. Apart from Kathmandu Valley, NDCL is providing mobile service in 43 districts and Spice Nepal Pvt. Ltd. too has extended its service in 25 districts. The mobile network of NDCL has now 395 (previous data) Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) whereas SNPL has 315 BTS in 900 and 1800 MHz band. Hence the Number of subscriber to Base Transceiver Station (BTS) ratio of NDCL is 2198 in comparison to 2232 of SNPL. The mobile penetration is increasing steadily to reach 5.95 in this quarter. Total manpower involved in providing this service stands at 566.

Identification of likely changes to industry enabled or caused by e-business and other market factors:

Scenario Analysis:

The 5 fundamental competitive forces for the telecommunication industry are given below:

• The entry of competitors (How easy or difficult is it for new entrants to start to compete, which barriers do exist):

a. Huge investment required / Capital requirements: Physical Infrastructure and IT infrastructure.

b. Government regulation: On December 25, 1995 the telecom sector included private sectors; previously NT was the only state owned firm in the sector. SNPL and UTL came into existence after the privatization regulation and follows telecommunication acts and policies developed by MOST and NTA.

NT held monopoly in the telecommunication market for almost 30 years. Though privatized, 51 percentages of its shares are still owned by the government. According to interviews conducted with Spice Nepal and NTA, the board of Nepal Telecom includes dominant representatives of government body and NTA and hence the regulation seems to favor Nepal Telecom more than other competitors. As an example, license for international gateway has recently been granted to Spice after almost one year of its application. For the period UTL was benefiting as SNPL used its gateway and hence had to bear the cost of doing business with its competitors. SNPL also is affected due to high rate of interconnection tax that it has to pay with NT.

The application process and government formalities required for acquiring license for a new service is also complex and slow. The reasons are
o Bureaucratic government process makes the application and acquiring process cumbersome and slow.
o Convincing the personnel in the government for bringing new service or technology itself is difficult as the understanding and technology literacy is low at the level.

The growth of telecommunication has been restricted by NTA.
o In the entry itself for new and emerging services
o By imposing conditions that are not conducive through taxes, time consuming bureaucratic practice etc. (Telecom service tax is 10 percent plus VAT 13 percentage makes the service provider bear expensive tariff costs).

According to the interview conducted with the director of NTA, the reasons for the restriction in proliferation is because of unprepared technical expertise for the usage of new services and lack of awareness about technology amongst the executives and government bureaucrats.

c. Brand identity: Brand identity results customer loyalty. Present industry scenario shows the maximum customers are loyalty towards Nepal telecom. Thus it will cost very high for new players to gain the attraction of customers towards.

d. Switching costs: Telecommunication industry is an IT dependent industry. The technologies need to be updated frequently to maintain pace with the business demand. To switch from the technologies being used to the new technologies bear a huge cost. This high switching cost also acts as the element causing the barriers to entry. The customer base of NT is larger than any other firms and hence the interconnection costs are higher. Hence the customers are reluctant to switch to other service providers.

e. Access to distribution: The service penetration (1 in 100) for mobile service is 5.95% with respect to total population of Nepal 2, 64, 27,399. The access of distribution of the present players is concentrated to the urban population and is also occupied by the dominant player like Nepal Telecom. Lack of easy access and country’s poor infrastructure in the rural areas has caused the absence of telecommunications services in rural areas. This difficulty in access to distribution to the new areas has created barrier to entry.

• the threat of substitutes (how easy can product or service be substituted, especially cheaper)

The threat of substitute products occurs when the demand of a product is affected by the price or service provided by the substitute product changes. The cheaper price and easy availability of sim cards of Spice Nepal and value added services like one hour free talk-time, free sms etc has attracted the mobile users. But simultaneously, the expensive call tariff is another blockade for the extensive growth of business of Spice Nepal. The lowered / cheap call tariff if provided by Spice Nepal would act as a Threat of substitute for the Nepal Telecom.

• The bargaining power of buyers (how strong is the position of buyers, can they work together to order large volumes)

Bargaining power of buyers refer to the strength of the buyer’s position. In context of the telecommunication Industry, buyers / customers are the individuals or organizations using the services provided by the telecommunication companies. Buyers are weak because they do not have significant influence over product and the price. The oligopolies industry (there are only three firms) offers lesser options for the customer. There are no direct web based purchases for the sim cards as well as the purchase have to made through the companies or few local agents and hence customers are more dependent.

• the bargaining power of suppliers (how strong is the position of sellers, are there many or only few potential suppliers, is there a monopoly)

The Suppliers in the telecommunication industry for the mobile operation are the firms manufacturing and distributing SIM cards, recharge cards, CDMA hand sets and technologies for activating and providing the service. Nepal Telecom and spice Nepal selects the suppliers from global bidding process. UTL’s hand sets and chipsets are supplied by LG, Korea. The power of the companies to select the suppliers shows that the suppliers are weak. On the other hand, the availability of few suppliers forces the companies to have a limited choice and act as the strength of the suppliers.

• the rivalry among the existing players (is there a strong competition between the existing players, is one player very dominant or all equal in strength/size)

NT was only player in the telecommunication industry for almost 30 years. The monopoly of NT ended with the entry of UTL and Spice Nepal. There are 4 players in the telecommunication industry with NT being the dominant player. Nepal Telecom is the leader in the market with maximum number of services and capturing the maximum market share. Spice Nepal is limited with GSM mobile service and UTL with CDMA service. The huge gap between the services offered by the companies and control of NT over the Telecommunication industry depicts a week rivalry among the existing players. SNPL is leading in providing value added services as well as by using price strategies to attract larger customer base.

Likely changes to come:

NT is issuing public shares which will enable more stakeholders to participate in its decision making process. Further the government shares will be decreased and hence it is likely that the favoritism will decrease in the coming days making the competition fair for all the companies. According to Mr. Anand Raj Khanal of NTA, more efforts will be imparted to bring technology and its usage literacy to senior staffs both in government offices, firms and even for the consumers. This will help to bring new technology and services in the market. Further the rivalry will be strong and hence customer focused cheaper quality service can be easily attainable in the coming years.

Globalization (Current)

The global revolution in telecom industry is rapid with evolving technologies and related services. The development of new technologies; global telecommunication infrastructure, communication satellites, submarine fiber optic cable and use of wireless mediums for communication are extensive. Further the use of IT in enabling fast speed trans-border voice and data transfer, are moving the industry to peak of development and are used widely all over the world.

Nepal is far behind in economic development and hence the market demand, structure, and awareness are relatively lesser if compared globally. Yet the telecom sector is highly affected by global evolution in the industry. Digital divide is prevalent and the need of minimizing the gap through the enforcement of new technologies and technology literacy are brought parallel in the industry.

Likely changes:

The privatization of the industry in a way is a result of globalization so that new privatized companies brings competitive market and provides new emerging technologies in the market. Currently NT and SPNL are competing to bring new services in coordination with global vendors. Two new companies are granted license for operation in the sectors and many more operators are likely to come into existence.

Value Chain of Telecommunication industry of Nepal:

Administration and management: Jawalakhel Mobile Exchange (NT)
CDMA wireless Directorate (NT)
Headquarter at Ekantakuna (SNPL)
Headquarter at Bagdhol (UTL)
Human Resource: ZTE Corporation, Huwaiee and NT training center (NT)
Chinese Supplier an Spice Nepal Training center (SNPL)
LG Korea and UTL training center (UTL)

Technology: Activating software
Procurement: Procurement & Material Management Department
Inbound logistic

Nepal Telecom
-Wireless Directorate, Chauni, Kathmandu.
- Jawalakhel Mobile Exchange

Warehousing of sim cards in Headoffice, Ekantakuna

Warehousing of chipsets & handsets at headquater office, Bagdhol


Nepal Telcom
Activation process using computer software, separation of the regional sims for dispatch using allocated coding

Activation process using computer software, separation of the regional sims for dispatch

Activation process using computer software, separation of the regional sims for dispatch
Sales and marketing

Sales wing and Exchange counters,

Advertisement through hoarding boards, new papers, websites,TV & FM radios. Service

Customer care counters; 14 exchange counters of NT and websites
NT: 1414
UTL: 2222222 Outbound logistic

Sales wing and regional office

supplier Supplier

N/A ZTE Corporation,
Huwaiee Nepal Telecom Sales wing, NT regional offices, NT exchange counters General Public

N/A Chinese Supplier’s (not revealed specifically) Spice Nepal Pvt. Ltd. Sales wing, regional offices Local retailers, General Public

N/A LG Korea United Telecom Ltd. Sales wing, regional offices General Public


SNPL extensively uses its website as well as other related websites for bidding for vendors to supply its requirements and other equipments. The use of IT for information gathering and vendor allocation is one of the prominent features. Further four of its distributors are also extensively using IT to request supply and distribute the sim cards to the regional agents.

The Ministry and NTA which are playing the major roles in value chain will be skipped as it contains time consuming bureaucratic processes whose elimination from the value chain system has contributed in the quick decision making of services dispatch, procurement of inbound logistics and distribution and overall management operations. Nepal Telecom has eliminated 8 distributors from earlier 10 distributors with the use of IT in the business processes. The company has adopted IT in procurement and delivery of the service to the customer for disintermediation in the supply chain. The use of IT can decrease both the bargaining power of suppliers and buyers giving the company benefit and power to operate in the market.

Likely changes in the value chain for enhancing business model:

The firms can extensively enhance its supply chain management and customer relationship management by the use of IT. The vendor allocation for bidding for both technology and cheaper and easily avaliabilty of sim/ruim cards can be strengthened by the use of websites. The sale of the cards can also be made online but is much dependent on development of IT infrastructure as well as enforcement of strong government digital regulations. Value added service and customer care service can also be enhanced in the customer ends of the value chain.


IT evolution

The use of IT not only speeds up business processes but enable superior service quality to both the customer and supplier ends. The evolution in the sector followed by wireless technologies such as satellites and N-generation services are changing the way of doing business for telecom sectors globally.

Likey changes

SNPL, NT and UTL are using intensive web based applications for providing superior customer services. Further all of the firms are likely to implement high speed data and voice related services using IP phones and Next Generation services.

Six business strategy

Prediction of the state of the industry in five years (business model)

Telecommunication industry is rapidly moving adapting sophisticated and advanced forms of technology to provide high speed data and voice transfer facilities. Wireless applications and satellites are adding such superior values that today communication globally is no more a big and expensive issue. In the next five years Nepal needs and should move in such a pace that it can cope up to certain standards of global communication process and at the same time aware the users and service providers so that a real consumer market of technical know how is created.

NTA enforces the rules and regulations to facilitate the services only after they are used by the companies. According to Mr Khanal of NTA, the rules and regulations are reactive and not proactive. NTA predicts that in next 5 years, the industry will have adopted various IT enabled services to enhance their core businesses.

Nepal Telecom has been undergoing plans and strategies to enable its core business through IT. The company is in planning phase of various IT enabled business models to be adopted in its core business too. The company is intensively planning to adopt MIS in its core business. Recently, the firm announced for the global tender for ERP vendors which will help in efficient management of the inventory, disintermediation and efficient distribution of services in real time and achieving cost minimization. The company has expected to enable its business highly from electronic model of business. The company has predicted to upgrade its technology to ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line) which is based upon packet system, is supposed to eliminate the traditional switch base (circuit base) service. The packet system will help to add the value on existing service as it can be used for multi purpose due to its capability of high data transfer facility.

Spice Nepal predicts that if the present discouraging rules and regulations of NTA, lack of strict cyber laws etc., prevails then the industry would not be able to enable IT even within the next five years.

UTL is planning to change their devices as technologies are changing rapidly so they are planning to change their suppliers depending upon the technology and price factor along with the quality. The proposed 3G 1X technology will allow easy and smooth Backward Compatibility to IS-95A and IS-95B. It is, therefore, expected that this technology/ state of art equipment will not be obsolete for several decades. UTL predicts that it will look into expanding its operations into all related areas including:
• Rural Telephony
• Mobile Trunking
• Total Network Solutions for Banks, etc

The NTA is soon to implement e-transactions in its operation and hence will be e-ready to facilitate the companies in the firm. Further full enforcement of cyber laws can bring trust and transparency for e-transactions. Expansion of IT infrastructures such as VSATs and Telecenters will increase awareness of IT literacy and hence the web based customers. The firms as well as other government agencies are focusing on various trainings and counseling programs. This will help to increase IT and technology literacy for senior staffs in the related organization. Further, the easy communication and global telecommunication revolution will create both awareness and need for the existing telecommunication industry to adapt both IT and other advanced technology based application to integrate in its newer business models and business processes.