The WEF Global Competitiveness Report (2013) ranked the quality of overall infrastructure of Nepal 132nd out of 142 countries. Among the categories analysed, quality of electricity supply (ranked 144th) was found to be particularly deficient. While Nepal has abundant hydropower resources, estimated power from which amounts to 83,000 mw, only a small fraction has materialized into usable electricity (WTO 2012). In order to develop hydropower by the private sector, especially through foreign investment, the Nepal Electric Authority (NEA) announced a simplification of the licensing process and the breaking up of the monopoly. However, weak implementation has hampered the expected effect, prolonging the monopolistic structure of the NEA. Following electricity supply, mobile telecommunication was identified as insufficient. After several phases of privatization of Nepal Telecom (NT), which used to be the sole supplier of all telecommunications, there are now two operators: NT and Ncell. The main obstacles to improving mobile telecommunications lie in power disruptions, affordability, and policy and regulatory barriers (ITU, 2012). The transport infrastructure is poor owing to its mostly mountainous and hilly terrain. Transport costs are high and the country is highly dependent on India for transit routes. With 42 domestic and one international airport, civil aviation plays a key role in linking the hilly and mountainous parts of the Kingdom. Most of them are green field without modern navigation systems. Improvement in domestic airports is seen as vital to the growth of trade in the country.

Source: ITU, 2012, Wireless Broadband Masterplan (Nepal)
WEF, 2013, Global Competitiveness Report
WTO, 2012, Trade Policy Review (Nepal)

Indicator Value Rank/148
Quality of overall infrastructure How would you assess general infrastructure (e.g., transport, telephony, and energy) in your country? [1 = extremely underdeveloped—among the worst in the world; 7 = extensive and efficient—among the best in the world] | 2012–13 weighted average. 2.69 123
Quality of roads How would you assess roads in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 2.71 117
Quality of railroad infrastructure How would you assess the railroad system in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 1.09 108
Quality of port infrastructure How would you assess port facilities in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = well-developed and efficient by international standards). For landlocked countries, this measures the ease of access to port facilities and inland waterways | 2010, 2011. 2.69 125
Quality of air transport infrastructure How would you assess passenger air transport infrastructure in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 3.02 123
Individuals using Internet (%) Internet users are people with access to the worldwide network. 59.62 124
Mobile telephone subscriptions/100 pop According to the World Bank, mobile cellular telephone subscriptions are subscriptions to a public mobile telephone service using cellular technology, which provides access to switched telephone technology. Postpaid and prepaid subscriptions are included. This can also include analogue and digital cellular systems but should not include non-cellular systems. Subscribers to fixed wireless, public mobile data services, or radio paging services are not included. 11.15 113
Fixed broadband Internet subscriptions/100 pop: The International Telecommunication Union considers broadband to be any dedicated connection to the Internet of 256 kilobits per second or faster, in both directions. Broadband subscribers refers to the sum of DSL, cable modem and other broadband (for example, fiber optic, fixed wireless, apartment LANs, satellite connections) subscribers. 0.48 109