When you are in the back country we recommend carrying a Thuraya satellite phone and/or a Delorme 2-way communicator.
We are happy to consult with you about your communications needs. Just drop us a line. We’ve written a few tips below.
Unlocked Cell Phones
We highly recommend you bring an unlocked phone to Nepal with you or buy a dumb phone, or a low cost smart phone when you are there (try to get a dual SIM phone if you can, there are many in Nepal). One of the best places to get a SIM card is at the airport if you are not too tired. It is a little less expensive and generally more expert service. But if you are too tired you can also get them in other parts of the city. Consider getting two seperate SIMS so that if you don’t have good coverage in one part of Nepal…hopefully the other will work. The cost is low and the safety factor high. We recommend one from NCell and another from NTC. They have adjoining counters and are on your right as you exit the airport. If you choose to buy them later (mostly likely in Thamel neighborhood which is where many people stay) they will often add a service charge of about 500 rupees (~$5 USD) onto the bill, so you save up to $10 if you are getting two SIM cards. Plus, these guys are pros. They work directly for the companies and troubleshoot phones all day. Buy approx 1000 rupees ($10 USD) of a data package (they will probably show you a price sheet), this will likely be good for at least 1 gigabyte and for 30 days. Then buy at least 500 rupees ($5) of voice credit. They will set this all up for you – and they will tape your old SIM card to the packaging and instructions they give to you. Last, buy one more 500 rupee scratch card and carry it with you for emergency – just in case you run out of credit. Total cost per phone: $20 USD including a month of data and a lot of calls. Later, look up the international tariffs to call your home country. It can be surprisingly inexpensive and google maps makes navigating Kathmandu so much easier.