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

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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 of Nepal Telecom SIM Card

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:

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:

PriceNight Data4G BonusValidity
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.

How To Buy A Nepal SIM Card

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.

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

How to Top-up Nepal SIM Card

You can go to any store or street stall where displays the logo of these mobile network providers above to get top-up cards. Instructions will be on the cards so you can follow it to top-up. Dialing *17123# & follow the instruction so you can enable whichever you want from call, text, data…

Nepal SIM Cards – Customer Care Services of Network Providers

Customer Care Service of Nepal Telecom – NTC

There will be some support-line number through that you can contact the Nepal Telecom for information or problems occurring while using their SIM card in Nepal. Dial contact numbers below for several services, information and queries.

  • Dial 197 to contact NTC information querying system
  • Dial 198 to contact NTC wireline service customer care using IVR
  • Dial 1498 to contact NTC customer care for GSM & CDMA mobile services
  • Dial 188 to contact NTC VOIP complain

Customer Care Service of Ncell

Ncell Call Center will be ready to support with any queries.
  • Dial 9005 if you use Ncell Prepaid SIM card
  • Dial 9007 if you use Ncell Pro & Ncell Biz Numbers
  • Dial 9809005000 if you use another numbers
Special note: it is free for calls to IVR (900/ 9005). 5 calls free available every month to talk to the Ncell Call Center. After 5 calls, standard charges will be applicable. From other operators, you will be charged as per standard tariff determined by Ncell. Ncell Call Center available 24/7.

Customer Care Service of Smart Cell

Smart Centre will help you with queries about your device, plan & bill questions, account during business hours. You choose these number below to  contact Smart Centre following the location you are in.

Smart Centre | Laba Bhawan – Kumaripati – Main Road
Dial: 9611020072
Opening hours: Sunday – Thursday: 9:30 to 17:30 / Friday: 9:30 to 14:30 / Saturday: Closed

Smart Centre | Pako – New Road – Kathmandu
Dial: 9880644444 / 9880655555
Opening hours: Sunday – Thursday: 9:30 to 17:30 / Friday: 9:30 to 14:30 / Saturday: Closed

Smart Centre | Rudra Bhawan – Putalisadak – Kathmandu
Dial: 9880388888 / 9880399999
Opening hours: Sunday – Thursday: 9:30 to 17:30 / Friday: 9:30 to 14:30 / Saturday: Closed

Smart Centre | RN Bhawan – Suryabinayak – Bhaktapur
Dial: 9880466666 / 9880477777
Opening hours: Sunday – Thursday: 9:30 to 17:30 / Friday: 9:30 to 14:30 / Saturday: Closed

Smart Centre | Arbind Complex – New Road – Pokhara
Dial : 9886233333 / 9886244444
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday: 9:30 to 17:30 / Friday: 9:30 to 14:30 / Saturday: Closed