Country Listing

Nepal Table of Contents



Postal services have been in existence, although extremely slow and with limited service, since the Shah and Rana periods. With the advancement in transportation systems, however, postal service also had improved. In FY 1985, there were 1,868 post offices. By FY 1990, the number of post offices had increased to 2,232, but even the government admitted that access to postal service for many Nepalese still was far from satisfactory.

Public telephone services became available but were limited during Rana rule. Beginning in the early 1950s, a few hundred telephones were installed, mostly for government offices and military officers' homes. As of 1989, the number of private telephones had increased to over 45,000, and most of the urban areas had telephone service. In 1986 there were twenty-six telephone exchanges; by 1990 there were forty-two such exchanges. The number of public call offices during this same period increased from twenty-one to seventy-six. International telephone and telex services were available, as were facsimile (fax) services. There was also a rudimentary radio relay network with fifty-eight channels nationwide in 1989. In addition, there still were fiftyfive point-to-point shortwave stations for telephone transmission in 1990.

Radio Nepal, transmitting by shortwave, has been in existence since the early 1950s. In 1991 Nepal had six AM broadcast stations. Radio was a good source of news and entertainment for many Nepalese; Radio Nepal, for example, provided about 100 hours of programming every week. Estimates of the total number of radio sets ranged from 600,000 to 2 million in 1989.

In late 1985, television programming began on a small scale in Kathmandu. In 1991 total programming was only three hours daily, with an additional two hours on Saturday mornings. The single station, Nepal Television had a transmitter outside Kathmandu and transmitting stations in Pokhara, Biratnagar, and Hetauda. The programs of foreign television organizations, such as the Cable News Network, also could be received by a satellite dish in Nepal. There were approximately 200,000 television sets in 1991, and in some areas the government provided television sets for community viewing.

Data as of September 1991