Staying in contact while visiting foreign countries is really a significant challenge and in Nepal is not an exception. Once getting into Nepal tours or any other tour to countries in the world, you probably want to stay connected to the outside world, then a Nepal SIM card is an ideal choice that allows you or any FOMO person (Fear of Missing Out) to be able to update something new while indulging in the wonderful Nepal trip. What’s more, accessing to the internet via a SIM card is much cheaper, faster and much more convenient than Wi-fi. If such the thing relating to the internet are troubling you, this article will be your help.

SIM Card Mobile Network Providers in Nepal - Information Guide

Mobile Network Companies in Nepal

1. Nepal Telecom (NTC)

Nepal Telecom is the sate-network provider in Nepal run by Government. To get an NTC’s SIM card, you will need a passport photo, a photocopy of passport ID page. This provider offers you the largest coverage. However, the Internet is not really great, just so-so.
Default Data Rate
Rs. 1 per MB (plus 13% taxes) is the default data rate of NCT. 2G/ 3G/ 4G/LTE is available with these data packages below:

DataTimePriceActivation
10 MB2 daysRs. 8DATA10MB
50 MB10 daysRs.35DATA50MB
200 MB30 daysRs.130DATA200MB
500 MB30 daysRs.300DATA500MB
1 GB30 daysRs.500DATA1GB
3 GB60 daysRs.1290DATA3GB
5 GB90 daysRs.1800DATA5GB
10 GB180 daysRs.2800DATA10GB

2. Ncell

Ncell was the first Nepal private network provider operating the public GSM services in Nepal. To buy a Ncell’s SIM card, you need a copy of your passport ID page to sign up. Ncell is also recommended to be faster and much easier for foreigners to set up. Since 2017, they have offered 4G in some major cities. If you want to stay connected while trekking, Ncell is what you need.

Ncell SIM card - Nepal SIM Card Mobile Network Companies
Default Data Rate
The default data rate of Ncell is quite high – Rs. 3.39 per MB and it depends on the base plan. So you better get one among 8 data packages below (no taxes included):

PriceAll day data4G BonusValidity
Rs. 1030 MB30 MB1 day
Rs. 30100 MB100 MB3 days
Rs. 50200 MB200 MB3 days
Rs. 70250 MB250 MB7 days
Rs. 100500 MB500 MB7 days
Rs. 3001.25 GB1.25 GB30 days
Rs. 5002.5 GB2.5 GB30 days
Rs. 100010 GB10 GB30 days

Dial *123# for activate, then select to appropriate option. To check the remaining data, dial *091#.

For night-time user (11 pm – 5 am), check these packages below:

Price

Night Data

4G Bonus

Validity

Rs. 10120 MB120 MB1 day
Rs. 30400 MB400 MB3 days
Rs. 50800 MB800 MB3 days
Rs. 701 GB1 GB7 days
Rs. 1002 GB2 GB7days
Rs. 3005 GB5 GB30 days
Rs. 50010 GB10 GB30 days
Rs. 100040 GB40 GB30 days

3. Smart Cell

Smart Cell is the third largest Nepal network provider. This company has been open for a while, but they had never really taken off. However, in 2017, they started to spread. Now, they are providing 4G service in some big cities in Nepal at a reasonable price. It is not a good choice for trekking through.

Default Data Rate
2G Default data rate of Smart Cell is Rs. 0.50 per MB and can be added by some packages below:

2G DataValidityPriceActivation
Unlimited1 dayRs. 19*141*3*1*1#
Unlimited7 daysRs. 109*141*3*2*1#
Unlimited15 daysRs. 189*141*3*3*1#
Unlimited30 daysRs. 299*141*3*4*1#
500 MB7 daysRs. 58*141*3*2*2#
750 MB15 daysRs. 98*141*3*3*2#
1 GB30 daysRs. 148*141*3*4*2#

For 4G/LTE data packages:

4G DataValidityPriceActivation
150 MB1 dayRs. 15*141*6*1*1#
1 GB7 daysRs. 85*141*6*2*1#
1.5 GB15 daysRs. 145*141*6*3*1#
2 GB30 daysRs. 235*141*6*4*1#

How To Buy A Nepal SIM Card

Kathmandu is the only city in Nepal having an international airport, so almost all the trips of foreign travelers start here. And in Kathmandu, it is quite easy to find a cell vendor. You just need to find logos of the three above companies on the small shopfront. You need to ask if they sell SIM cards first since not all of the cell vendors sell them.
Now, if you are sure that they sell SIM cards, you need to tell them what kind of SIM cards you need – full size, nano or micro.
If you want to buy the card, one passport-sized photo is needed, as well as your physical passport. Also, the vendor will have to take a photocopy of your passport ID page and Nepal visa, after that you need to fill a form, which may be in Nepali. However, you will be shown where to write the information. Feel free to ask whenever you need.
When the process is completed, you need to verify if the card is working or not, after that you can ask the vendor to add the credit you need.

How To Buy A Nepal SIM Card

Costs for Owning a Nepal SIM Card

For the SIM card, you might need to pay 100-150 rupees (about $1-$1.5). The prices for calls and data are dependent on your personal needs. One gigabyte of data costs 799 rupees ( about $8) valid for a month, with both available small and large packages. Local calls and SMS are pretty cheap also.
In Nepal, since there are unreliable power and Wi-fi in Nepal, you will use more mobile date than in other countries, so you might want to buy a large data package.

Costs for Owning a SIM Card in Nepal