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internet in kathmandu

can anyone pls tell me how fast is the internet connection in kathmandu for someone who has an online business?

tanya.

Hello Tanya,

As always the speed of your internet connection depends on how much you are willing to spend on it. And the same goes for the reliability for your internet connection.

Running a business myself which heavily relies on having a decent internet connection (we build websites from Nepal for mostly European customers) we have noticed two things which might be of interest to you:

1) you can get by easily with a much slower internet connection then what you're used to from home, as long as the connection is error free.

2) there are no connections available from Nepal to Europe which are always error free.

Most ISPs have a decent local network (not all have, mind you..!) and usually errors on your internet connection are introduced on the long-haul connections between Nepal and India or between India and Europe (there are no direct internet connections between Nepal and Europe anymore, since most providers have moved from satellite links to glass-fiber links, which from Nepal usually run over India).

We have found that even having two separate ISP's for our internet connectivity does not guarantee us a 24/7/365 error free internet connection. We're looking into a third ISP to provide us with yet another backup internet connection.

Our primary internet connection is a 1 Mbps down and 386 kbps up ADSL connection from NTC. The local loop for ADSL is usually fine, the NTC network connection to the rest of the world is usually (90% of the time) good enough for us.

Our backup internet connection is a 256/256 kpbs WiFi Internet connection (using directed high-power antenna's) and when we fall back to this connection it is working OK about 75% of the time, sometimes having WiFi connection issues, sometimes having backbone connection issues.

We're looking into a third backup connection using 3G GSM based communication. No other info on this yet, except that it's a rather expensive solution...

But keep in mind that Internet in general is MUCH more expensive then in Europe. For our 1 Mbps ADSL connection we pay about € 60 per month.

Hope this info helps you in your research...


Kind regards,

Jorge.

thx so much for such a detailed response.iam  abit shocked to hear of the internet prices as everything else in nepal is so much cheaper. i mean i get 54mbps internet here in london for like 40 euros max...

is the error issue also occuring with american connections or any other part of the world?

Internet connection pricing dynamics have everything to do with your location. In London and in many mayor European cities you have mayor Internet Hubs which host many servers and inter-connect to many other locations over the continent since providing these connections is their core business. The companies who host their websites on, or close to these Hubs are at large paying for this connectivity. Your local link into these Hubs is a very short link and it's very profitable for the Hubs to provide these links at a low cost to your ISP since that will save them tons on their inter-connection costs.

In Nepal there are virtually NO servers being hosted, Nepal is not a Hub of any sorts, so all internet traffic has to be bought and brought in over expensive long-haul connections to Nepal. That is a mayor cause of the high price for Internet connectivity in Nepal, along with the limited number of users (people who can afford these high prices).

The errors are mostly packet loss issues due to failing connections between Nepal and India or between India and the next mayor Internet Hub. Failing connections happen occasionally everywhere, also in Europe or the USA. Probably a bit more often in Nepal or India because of the neglect on maintenance issues, but not that much more often. The packet loss happens when one connection fails, and there is not enough redundant bandwidth available to re-route traffic over the redundant connections or other available paths. And since these are long-haul connections of the very expensive kind, not much redundant network capacity is being bought by the Nepalese ISPs, for prices are already so high... and it's the customers who would eventually be paying for this redundancy.

And yes, due to the nature of the Internet and the location where most problems occur, these problems exist on all connections out of Nepal, whether they go to Europe, the USA, Australia or the Asian mainland Hubs (Taiwan, Singapore, Japan).

This post is a couple of years old. Just wondering if the internet situation is still as described above?

High speed internet is available in many places throughout the KTM Valley, but it is expensive and not available everywhere yet. There is the satellite option, also quite expensive and doesn't work well in poor weather.

It's at least as good as in the '90s, but soon we will celebrate the 21st century, probably by next year.

As of Jan 2014 there are supposed to be 45 ISP companies in Nepal.

The problem is the power outages. Seems some cafes, bars etc have back up power and offer internet. Best you Google search for this. Hotels also offer internet for customers.

Thanks all. How much would it cost to get internet that reaches speeds similar to what you could get in the USA, for example? Even then, I guess power outages would still make that internet access somewhat unreliable, right?

I've been looking into getting high speed internet for our guest house and for satellite I will need to pay about $200 or so for the dish and installation and then about $170 per month. That is from the dish people.

If you live in Kathmandu there is a fast service, 2 mb or so. I think it will cost close to $200 per month. I am not in the right location for this service-at the outskirts of the Valley.

So, it is available and there are many expats in Kathmandu. You could probably easily find someone to tap in and share the expenses.

Yeah, that is pretty steep. Thank you Madagascar and Stumpy for your answers!

One more thing on this subject: I live in the same load shed group as the cable company so I loose my TV reception when we loose electricity. But although I use the same company, NRC, I seldom loose internet connection during normal, scheduled power outages. However, someone stole all the copper wire out of a long stretch of jungle a few months ago and we had about 3 weeks without internet or phone. Fortunately, they used the experience to bury the cables and it is much more stable.

I'm looking forward to the 21st. century coming to Nepal. It ought to be here in the next year or so.

Hi, all: Could anyone please update the information on this topic? My wife and I are considering putting in for a move to Kathmandu but we're unsure about the speed and reliability of the internet, which I need for my work. Hopefully it has improved since 2014.

Thanks,
Jonathon

Hello Jonathon,

Internet has improved a * LOT * during the last couple of years.
There is much more international bandwidth available these days, and the few good internet providers have invested lots to improve the customers experiences using various kinds of caching. Many of the big Internet players have placed servers of their own inside Nepalese data centers. Think of Youtube and other Alphabet (Google) related services being serviced by local servers, etc.

Also a big plus is the extensive glasfiber network that many ISP's have build inside the major city areas. These usually run error free, and if something breaks, then the ISP's are quick to replace whatever went down.

Redundancy in the local loops is still a next step for most ISP's, but I am confident even that will follow one of these years.

That all being said, it is still not all good...
We still have to rely on two ISP's for redundancy, because the ISP's themselves fail at times, which is unacceptable for my business. But with 2 ISP's, both offering a glas fiber Internet service, we do have a decent internet connection about 99.9% of the time.

One provider ( https://www.vianet.com.np/ ) gives us an expensive (about US$ 100 per month), high availability and unlimited data, relatively high speed (2 Mbps up & down) connection with other custom specifications in regards to traffic shaping as per our specific wishes and a static IP address. Real life testing shows that we actually really have at least 2 Mbps available to us almost all the time.

The other provider ( https://www.classic.com.np/ ) is offering us a 'regular', supposedly cheap (about US$ 25 per month) high bandwidth (30 Mbps up & down) but limited data (some 300 GB / month) connection. This connection is also 'up' most of the time, but if there is an issue, it takes ages and ages to get through to their support and get them to fixing anything. Also the real life testing shows that we hardly get anything at over 5 Mbps pushed or pulled through their '30 Mbps' connection. But it is 'good enough' for us, and we mostly off-load our local Youtube traffic, the wifi network for the staffs mobile phones and other non-essential traffic over this link. Only if our main connection goes down, then we automatically drop all the non-essential traffic and route the office traffic over this 'backup' line.

I hope this helps some for you to make up your mind in regard to 'Internet in Kathmandu' ...

Kind regards,
Jorge.

Jorge,
Thank you so much! What an informative and detailed response. We find out in a few weeks if we're headed to Nepal so I might have even more questions! Ha, ha.

Thanks again,
Jonathon

Great News! World Link people came and upgraded my connection with them for about the same price I was spending. It's really fast for us now. Really happy with this connection. I think I'm going to be paying about 2,000 NRs. per month.

Yes, an expat can be a digital nomad in Nepal now.

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