Getting a Tourist Prepaid Sim Card at Kathmandu Airport

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Getting a prepaid mobile sim card for international tourists in Nepal is easy. All it takes is a copy of your passport's bio-data page, a passport size photo and 100 Nepali rupees. There are two telecom companies in Nepal that provide prepaid Sim cards upon arrival at Kathmandu's International Airport - Ncell and Nepal Telecom. Activation of the service is immediate and the Sim card comes pre-loaded with talk time equal to a few Nepali rupees. Recharge for more talk time can be done for any amount. I randomly picked Ncell for my short visit to Nepal. The Sim cost 100 Nepali rupees and I bought an additional talk time recharge of 200 rupees too. Call rate to India was about 3.60 Nepali rupee per minute. I wasn't sure of getting good wifi in my hotel so I decided to buy a 1GB data pack too which should have cost me 1000 Nepali rupees or less. I trusted the Ncell staff at their official sales counter at KTM airport and upon their asking, paid them 1270 Nepali rupees for the data pack. Later, a Sim shop in Kathmandu told me the price was 1000 rupees. I also saw an Ncell advertisement in Kathmandu offering unlimited data for a month for 600 Nepali rupees. Keep reading...

Ncell and Nepal Telecom Sim Card Shops at Kathmandu Airport

Ncell is a private company and their voice and data service worked well when I was in both Kathmandu and Lumbini. I wonder how they allow their sales staff to cheat international passengers at Kathmandu airport. The particular sales guy who took the money from me ducked behind his desk when I was taking picture of the sales counter for this blog. His colleague at the counter was looking at him in amazement. Now I know why he did not want to be in the picture (see the picture below). For the record, if Ncell wants to know, this was on April 19, 2014. Apart from taking extra money illegally, this guy was tearing off a portion of the paper cover that contained the Sim card and information booklet before giving it to the customers. Most probably that portion of the cover contained some information that could be useful to the customers or expose some fraud the Ncell staff was doing. Please see below the picture of the Ncell Sim Card Cover as it is given to international tourists at Kathmandu Airport. What a way to say "Welcome to Nepal".

How Ncell Sim Card is sold at Kathmandu Airport

Torn Ncell Sim Card Cover Sold at Kathmandu Airport


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Posted by Narinder Singh

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I left my day job in October 2013 and became a full time blogger. I love travel and hence a travel blog was the obvious place to start from. The result is I currently live in Bengaluru, India. - Narinder Singh. (Email:


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