Image Credit: https://www.gadgetbytenepal.com/best-telecom-service-provider-nepal/
Along with food and accommodation internet communication becomes an integral part of trekking the Annapurna circuit these days. People want to stay connected with the internet across the world no matter wherever they are located. Access to internet facilities condition on the trail:
- Internet and wifi facilities are installed in most of the teahouses and lodges
- Not all places have internet services
- Some of the lodges provide free wifi and some of them charge
- Teahouse charge for the Wifi use around 1$ to 4$ including other gadgets charging
- Stable signals and high-speed Internet in some places
- Can’t stream high-definition video, takes lots of time
- Wifi here in the trails is only enough to send some messages and pictures
- Wifi available all the way from Besishahar Sahar to Yak Kharka
- No Wifi at Thorong Phedi, Thorong La Pass until Muktinath (and south)
- The phone tower in Manang facilitates Wifi accessibility around the places
- The local network is fine after Manang till Muktinath; however, there is no proper network
- Beyond Manang up to the Thorong La Pass, there is not much of a network or internet
- Frequent power outages plays havoc with wifi so it can be patchy
Internet Accessibility using SIM Card
Available alternative for Wifi is SIM Card Internet, but possible accessibility in most places wherever it has good coverage. You can use sim cards to have internet connections. It is considered the cheapest way to access the internet on the trail of the Annapurna circuit trek which provides many data package options.
There are two popular telecommunication companies. They are:
Among NTC and NCELL, NTC is most suitable for the trek due to its being reachable even in the most rural part of Nepal. You can have 3G services in most of the places in the Annapurna region while using NTC sim. However, the chances of getting full network coverage are 25%.
You can subscribe to the internet package which costs you less. You can subscribe to more or fewer data as you need. NTC provides various 4G data packages at incredible prices:
|Rs. 500 ($4.5)||7 GB (1 GB Daily)||60||7 Days|
|Rs. 700 ($6.5)||4.5 GB||60||28 Days|
|Rs. 1200 ($11)||28 GB (1 GB Daily)||100||28 Days|
|Rs. 1200 ($11)||12 GB||60||42 Days|
NTC prepaid SIM cards for tourists are cost-effective and have several benefits in your trek Annapurna circuit. You can purchase NTC SIM, at the TIA NTC counter or other shops in Kathmandu or in Pokhara. For a SIM card you need to:
- Attach a photocopy of your passport / ID card
- Attach a passport-size photograph
- Fill out the registration form
- Pay Rs 100 (around $1)
Ncell has introduced a special SIM for travelers named Visit Nepal SIM. It is a SIM for travelers to experience high-quality and uninterrupted connections while trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.
For Visit Nepal SIM, you require:
- A photocopy of your passport
- One passport-size photo
- Your arrival visa
- A filled-out registration form
- Rs 100 (around $1)
Ncell provides a high-speed 4G network at an affordable price. On dialing *17105#, you can get an offer of various packages as follows:
|Days||Price (incl. Taxes)||Data (GB) + Voice (Minutes)|
|3||NPR. 290||3GB + 30 mins|
|7||NPR. 490||7GB + 70 mins|
|14||NPR. 980||14GB + 140 mins|
|28||NPR. 1470||28GB + 280 mins|
|30||NPR. 2888||88GB + 888 mins|
All mobile networks in Nepal claim 4G and nationwide coverage which is different in the implementation part. Practically, 4G exists in:
- Parts of Pokhara
- Parts of Chitwan
In other places, it’s 3G at best. NTC offers good 4G coverage compared to other telecommunication networks.
Most small villages and trails hiking Annapurna circuit Nepal have good cell phone coverage. In some areas, however, the network can be poor or unavailable. In the base camp itself, the connection may not be available or as good.
For the internet connectivity only, no need to get a Nepalese SIM Card. Use wifi on your phone and WhatsApp (or similar). You only need a local SIM for phone calls or SMS, not for internet connectivity in the trekking region.
Yes, most of the guesthouses/lodges provide wifi on the trail. However, it’s poor access and some Teahouses/lodges may charge in higher altitudes.
As there are two SIM Cards data packages popular in the area – NTC and Ncell, you should follow:
NTC SIM Card user:
Dial 141555# for the volume query (NTC GSM, CDMA), or Send a message typing “VL” to 1415
Ncell SIM Card user:
Dial 171185# for the volume query, or send an SMS typing “S” to 17123. You will get the data volume left in the data pack subscribed and the expiry date.
If you are looking for information regarding routes of Annapurna Circuit trek read Routes and Maps of the Annapurna Circuit Trek chapter. Best Annapurna Circuit Trek Time chapter explains in detail about the best time to trek in Annapurna Circuit region. If you are wondering how to choose the best trek operator, find detailed information from this How to Choose the best Annapurna Circuit Trek Operator chapter.
The cost chapter Cost of Annapurna Circuit Trek explains all types of cost and fees of Annapurna Circuit trek. If you need information regarding visa and permit of Annapurna Circuit trek read Visa and Permit for Annapurna Circuit Trek chapter.
The Annapurna circuit packing list chapter explains the main items to Packing for Annapurna Circuit trekking. Learn in detail about the food and lodging during trekking Annapurna Circuit in the Accommodation and Food during Annapurna Circuit Trek chapter. If you want information about Annapurna Circuit trek ground transportation read the chapter Annapurna Circuit Ground Transportation.
In other chapters of this Annapurna Circuit Trek guide, we have explained in detail of how and where to find the AnnapurnaTrek Guides and Porters and how much dangerous and safe is Annapurna Circuit Trek. Moreover, you can explore our Nepal tours and treks package page to find several amazing Annapurna circuit trekking deals.