After years of suffering through NTC’s horrible ADSL service, I switched to Otel in Shrawan of 2071. At that time, Otel was a small company, just starting out in the Nepalese ISP market. I was skeptical at first, but their price convinced me to at least try their cable internet out. After all, I figured anything would be better than NTC’s ADSL. Plus, I already had a SpaceTime cable TV subscription at my home, so installing Otel’s internet was very convenient.
Having used it for almost a full year now, I feel qualified to post a review of Otel’s cable internet service. I hope this will be useful to anyone wondering whether they should switch to Otel.
Otel has an excellent cost to speed ratio that is probably the best in Nepal. For Rs. 1050 per month (plus 13% tax, so total Rs. 1187), you get a 1 Mbps unlimited connection.
The only constraint is you also need to install their cable TV subscription called SpaceTime network, which will cost you around Rs. 350 per month if you pay on a monthly basis, and around Rs. 300 per month if you pay biannually or annually (these amounts are in the ballpark of the actual costs, but not necessarily exact). So, you’ll be paying around Rs. 1537 for cable TV plus internet if you pay on a monthly basis. I think it’s pretty reasonable for a 1 Mbps unlimited internet connection for home use.
This is the original bill from when I first installed Otel at my home:
After that, I paid Rs. 7122 for 7 months during an offer and recently paid Rs. 3560 for 3 months.
The speed of the internet is pretty stable. These days I get a steady 1 Mbps on download as well as upload. This lets me download at a maximum of 120 kBps. This is the same speed I get in torrents. There was a window of a couple of months during August to October last year (not sure about the exact starting and ending dates), when I somehow got 5 Mbps from Otel. I think it was because they didn’t have many customers in my area back then. Now, however, it has stabilized to approximately 1 Mbps.
Otel installs a proprietary router worth Rs. 3000 during the time of installation. The money you pay is actually a security deposit for the router, and they promise to pay it back if you ever decide to terminate their service and return the router. Personally, I don’t like Otel’s router very much. It has a very small Wi-fi range and doesn’t have as many configurations available as other routers in the market. I haven’t used a custom modem and router with Otel, but I’m sure it can be done, and if anyone else has done it, I’d like to hear their experience with it.
The only problems I’ve had with Otel involve downtime during power outages. I think they use generators that take some time to start when the power goes out. This leaves me with no internet connection for 20 to 30 minutes whenever there is a power cut. Moreover, when the power comes back, they turn off the generator and the internet goes out for some minutes. Sometimes when the power goes out early in the morning or late at night, the internet goes with it and I’m left helplessly restarting the router and pinging Google, hoping the internet comes back. Aside from this issue with power cuts, Otel sometimes just randomly cuts off my internet access for a full day or so for no reason at all. This is rare but it has happened a few times, causing immense frustration. I hope they resolve these issues in the future.
All in all, I am quite satisfied with Otel as a company. Their customer support is really awesome. Within last year, they’ve called me twice to ask if I’m satisfied with their service. The one time I called them about a router issue, they sent someone over within a few days and even called me afterwards to ask if everything had been fixed. The only thing I don’t like is the downtime, but I guess some downtime is unavoidable when running an ISP. Nevertheless, I hope they reduce the downtime in the coming days and improve their router.
So, would I recommend Otel to someone looking for cable internet in Kathmandu? Absolutely!
I hope this was a helpful review. If you have any questions about Otel’s cable internet, feel free to leave a comment below.