The number of telephone subscribers (fixed and mobile) in Nepal topped 5.5 million as at March 2009, up around 45% year-on-year, according to data published by the telecoms regulator the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA). Of the total, 622,667 were fixed line connections either to Nepal Telecom (NT, 551,566), United Telecom Ltd (UTL, 67,378), or STM Telecom (3,723), while a further 60,171 were signed up to UTL’s limited mobility service. Mobile still accounts for the overwhelming majority of connections however, totalling 4.167 million by last month. The mobile market leader is, once again, NT with 2.357 million subscribers, ahead of Spice Nepal (Mero Mobile) with 1.810 million. The NTA also reported a smattering of other connections including NT’s CDMA and Sky Phone services (177,808 and 484,726 respectively), Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS, 1,517) and W-CDMA (664). The gains have pushed overall telecoms penetration in the country to 20.45%, broken down as fixed (2.31%), mobile (15.45%) and other (2.69%). At the same date there were a total of 76,502 internet subscribers, including 13,893 ADSL users.
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