BMI View: In our 2017 annual report update we maintain a positive outlook for the Nepal mobile market.
It showed strong growth in 2016, ending the year with 32.1mn connections, a net gain of 4.8mn from end of2015. Nepal's difficult geography remains the biggest barrier in uptake of telecommunications andestablishes a clear preference for mobile over wireline services. Mobile phone penetration at the end of2016 had reached 121%, a rate that we expect to grow to 131% by the end of 2021. New entrants thatprovide credible competition could speed up growth, but lacklustre demand in rural areas is not a strongenough incentive, as potential new players have recently proved reluctant to enter. As shown by the strongperformance of mobile data subscriptions, the greatest potential for broadband expansion into remote andrural areas lies with mobile technologies, despite some of them using technologies slower than 3G.