The internet service providers in Nepal do not, in general, provide a very good speed to cost ratio. They are either extremely costly or extremely slow. Especially for mobile phone users, the options are very limited. One could of course opt for NTC and be satisfied with a very modest speed for 3G, and absolutely abysmal speed for GPRS, nonetheless at an affordable cost. On the other end of the spectrum, one could opt for a normal Ncell GPRS/3G tariff and get blazing speeds, while watching their balance fly out the window at almost the same speed. At ITNepal however, we offer you an alternative to use the super-fast internet provided by Ncell at unbelievably low costs.
If used without any plans, Ncell charges Rs. 8 for every MB of data. As you can probably guess, this can very quickly drain your balance. However, Ncell also gives you an option of buying 3 MB data for Rs. 7 (including taxes). To buy 3 MB of data, all you have to do is SMS 3 MB to 9909.
Although noticeably cheaper, this plan can also prove straining on your balance if you surf the internet a lot. Moreover, it’s very difficult to keep track of the amount of data remaining when you are busy chatting with friends on Facebook. Once the 3 MB data ends, you are back to the monstrous Rs. 8 per MB plan. So, it’s possible to lose a lot of money due to the slightest carelessness. Plus, its validity is only 1 day, and if you have any data remaining, it disappears the next day.
However, there is a third alternative. Ncell also provides data SIMs that are primarily intended for use with PCs and laptops. The service is called Ncell Connect, and to use it you have to buy a data SIM and a data card to connect with your PC. The speeds are, of course, excellent (3.6 Mbps). However, if you love your money, we would advocate against using this data plan to connect to the internet on you PC. The data card alone costs about Rs. 3500 and the plans available are all expensive volume-based ones.
The way to use this plan cheaply is to buy only the Ncell connect data SIM (costs Rs. 99, and comes with a balance of Rs. 50) and use it on your cell phone. Then, you can buy a data plan for either 500 MB, 1 GB or 5 GB. For initial trial phase, we recommend purchasing the 500 MB package. It costs Rs. 450 (including taxes), and does not have a validity time associated with it. Hence, the cost is only 90 paisa per MB of data. This is obviously a lot cheaper than the Rs. 8 per MB on a normal mobile SIM, and is quite comparable to the prices provided by NTC. However, unlike the GPRS/3G service provided by NTC, the speed of the internet is extremely fast (especially if your phone has 3G capabilities).
You might be wondering why everyone hasn’t switched to a data SIM. The answer is that this SIM has a major drawback. You can’t make calls using it. However, you can send messages. So, if you have an extra cell phone lying around or an extra slot in your dual SIM phone, it’s definitely worth buying. If your phone supports packet data, it’s usable. Having used the speedy Ncell internet for quite a while now, we would say that this cheap Ncell data plan is definitely worth the investment.
A word of caution though: using this internet on your PC by connecting your phone by data cable (or setting up a hotspot on your smartphone) will cost a lot more than using the internet on the phone itself. This is because PC internet uses an exponentially greater amount of data than mobile internet.
Here’s the procedure to buy an Ncell connect data SIM:
- Visit any of the Ncell centres with a passport size photo, a photocopy of your citizenship certificate and the original citizenship certificate for verification.
- Fill out a simple form and buy only the data SIM for Rs. 99.
- Purchase any data package : 500 MB(Rs. 399 without tax), 1000 MB (Rs. 699 without tax) or 5000 MB (Rs. 1999 without tax).
- Insert the SIM card in your mobile phone and install the settings.
- Dial *101# to see the amount of data remaining.
- That’s it. Happy surfing!