This made it possible for WorldLink to have 500,000 subscribers, with a new target of 2 million
WorldLink, the country’s leading internet service provider, after two and a half decades of continuous workHas managed to set a record of 500,000 customers.
On the thirteenth week of July, he announced, “We have become a single WorldLink family of five million households.”
Making 500,000 customers is not a trivial matter. One fixed broadband internet customer in Nepal is said to be used by 4.88 people. In this sense, WorldLink is currently being used by 2.4 million people.
Institutional users have reached 26,000. Network traffic utilization has exceeded 1.5 terabytes.
It was not easy for WorldLink to reach this height. Today’s World Link has been formed after 25 years of hard work, austerity and patience. To borrow the words of founder Manoj Agrawal, in Nepal, ‘WorldLink has become synonymous with the Internet and the Internet is WorldLink.’
When WorldLink started, getting internet customers was like looking for a rock. WorldLink founder Dilip Agrawal’s team was excited to get one or two customers.
In 1995, the Internet was a new thing for Nepal. People who knew about it could be counted on their fingers. Doing one, two, the number of customers reached one hundred. It took many years to reach from a hundred to a thousand and from a thousand to a million.
And, today, the Internet has become a major business in the country. Worldlink is the one who deserves the most credit.
Following in the footsteps of WorldLink, dozens of Internet service providers have been added today. The ‘digital population’ has reached millions. The competition is fierce. Today, it is because of the Internet that ‘work from home’ has started.
Last week, we also connected with Manoj Agrawal, Director of Communications, WorldLink, from Zoom. The development of new technology along with the internet has made our daily life easier. Agarwal, who taught email-internet to everyone one by one in 1995, is amazed to see millions of digital populations today.
Before remembering the ups and downs of 25 years, we asked Agrawal, ‘One, two, three, you have made five lakh customers today. How is the Worldlink team feeling at the moment? ‘
“It’s a matter of pride for us,” Agarwal said. “We have finally achieved the goal we set.” Today, WorldLink has become synonymous with the Internet in the country. He thinks this is a great achievement for the company. He says that over a period of two and a half decades, WorldLink has made a great contribution to building millions of digital populations in Nepal and building a digital economy.
WorldLink started digging ‘highways’ to expand the country’s internet. Over time, other companies have been added to this ‘highway’. Which made the country’s internet market more competitive.
“If there is no competition in the market, it will not be fun to run on the highway,” Agarwal said excitedly. “We are proud that the highway we have dug has become very wide now.”
With the launch of WorldLink in Nepal, the practice of email abroad had become widespread. Dilip, who is studying in the United States, thought that the email service would be used to understand the well-being of his family. To fulfill his dream, he started exchanging emails with a computer in a room. There was not much investment. During the study, a small amount of the project received for the thesis was invested in it.
At the same time, the company’s chairman Dilip Agrawal was on an international flight. ‘Build an internet company, but what name?’ Her mind was also flying. He came up with the idea that the internet is about linking to each other. It is to connect one person to another, from one country to another. He got the name, ‘WorldLink’.
Enthusiasm grew in 1997 when email went from dial-up to the Internet. People began to understand the Internet.
Consumers did not have computers or laptops in their homes as the internet has just started in the country. Cyber cafes had already started in the market. Internet users started visiting the same cafes.
In the beginning, only very selective people became customers. Like whose children were studying outside. A person with a big business, whose work was also done outside the country, became an Internet customer.
NGOs, on the other hand, wanted to become customers of email and the Internet. Agarwal recalls that organizations such as Plan International, the World Food Program (WFP), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) used the Internet.
Making customers on the Internet was not easy. One, two had to make customers. Today, 3 more customers have been added. We were very excited to get that number, ‘Agarwal recalls.
The price of internet was also very expensive. “We used to charge in kilowatts,” he says. “You can understand how expensive it was in kilowatts.”
CAN Infotech was a big fair for those interested in the information technology sector. Those who came there were very interested in the Internet. WorldLink also participated in Can Infotech. From there, they introduced the Internet to many. Those who came there also became customers of the Internet. In the beginning, cyber cafe operators became more internet customers than individuals. Those who have cyber cafes in Thamel, tourist areas, Chowk Chowk started becoming customers of WorldLink.
In 2014, WorldLink launched an Internet service based on Fiber to the Home (FTTH) technology. This proved to be a ‘game changer’ for WorldLink. Until then there were various problems in internet technology and problems in quality. FTTEH changed everything.
“Then the internet service took off,” says Agarwal.
If we look at the growth of the number of customers, it seems that it has increased exponentially in the last three or four years. As of 2070 BS, WorldLink had 19,450 subscribers. Looking at the details, there were more customers of the competing company at that time. Some WorldLinks were on average.
Since then, no one has been able to follow WorldLink’s policy and aggressive market expansion. By 2076 BS, its customers had reached 300,000. It has increased from 375,000 in July 2077 to 500,000 in July this year.
Aim to reach 2 million in five years
As soon as the target of Rs 500,000 is achieved, WorldLink is planning for three years and five years. As the country’s leading and largest company, WorldLink believes that it should continue to play a successful leadership role.
The company, which has led the way till today, is planning to provide internet service in the coming years in the same position.
WorldLink now aims to reach 2 million subscribers in five years.
“Our goal now is a little bigger,” Agrawal said of the upcoming plan. “We plan to have 2 million customers in five years.” Agrawal is determined to achieve the target of Rs 2 million if the current environment is conducive and everyone’s support is given.
“There are many challenges in the coming days and there are opportunities along with the challenges,” says Agarwal. “WorldLink is working on how to go from 6 digits to 7 digits.”
There is still a large market share for the expansion of fixed broadband internet in Nepal. According to the report of the regulatory Nepal Telecommunication Authority, 90 percent of the population has access to broadband, while fixed broadband internet is only 24 percent.
“Where WiFi is available, mobile data is not used,” says Agarwal. “As mobile data is being used in villages, we use fixed broadband when we arrive.”
Fixed broadband is cheaper than mobile data. The time consumers spend on the internet is increasing and the supply of containers is increasing. Agarwal says that fixed broadband is suitable in such cases of internet usage.
Fixed broadband is not just about the internet. As data, voice and TV can be used from the same cable, consumers will be more attracted to it in the coming days. For this reason, he is confident that fixed broadband internet will reach every ward.
“Our vision is to connect to everybody, everybody, everybody’s time,” he says. “We’re expanding the network to make that happen.” At the same time, we are working to improve the quality. ‘
He says that 500,000 customers are getting world class service. He said that the main reason for this is that WorldLink has made the technology available to its customers as many as there are internet related innovations in the world.
Under the current plan, the network expansion will be accelerated to create 2 million customers. WorldLink plans to expand its network reach to areas that do not have a network, such as highways. “Our desire is to reach out to the wards,” he says.
At the same time, he says, he will always focus on providing quality service to his customers. He said that they are planning not only to increase the number but also to provide quality service.
Launched in 1995 by Email, WorldLink launched Dialop Internet two years later. Similarly, in 1999, it started bringing international bandwidth from Visat and at the same time started expanding the service outside Kathmandu.
With the launch of the Wireless Broadband Internet Service in 2000, a partnership for Content Cash began with several international companies. WorldLink partnered with Akamai to set up the first container cache in Nepal.
In 2002, a nationwide Viset network was created that connected the country’s major cities. Going from wireless to wire after just starting internet service from next year helped a lot in improving the quality.
In 2006, the nation established a wireless backbone. It also made it easier to connect major cities. As it used to be from Visat, it was changed to wireless. Two years later, he set up cross-border fiber for international bandwidth.
In 2010, it partnered with Google for Content Cache. In 2012, WorldLink launched its first 10 Mbps internet service. “At that time, 10 Mbps was considered high speed,” says Agarwal.
2014 came as a game changer year. They started Fiber Internet (FTTH) broadband service from house to house this year. It only solves quality problems on the Internet. With the launch of FTTH, network expansion became easier and the number of subscribers accelerated. Investment in it has been increasing.
WorldLink launched IPTV in 2016. “We were the first to launch IPTV in Nepal,” says Agarwal. “It has made it possible for customers to watch Internet and TV on the same cable.” This was a great achievement for WorldLink.
That same year, it partnered with Facebook for Content Cache. WorldLink, which has been making such progress, was honored by the Government of Nepal in 2017 as the largest taxpayer in the country in the field of information and communication technology.
WorldLink has unveiled a ‘separate’ filtering content for safe internet access. It was an online ‘protection’ for children.
WorldLink launched ‘Free WiFi’ service in 2018. Today, more than 10,000 hotspots have been created. WorldLink users can easily use WiFi in these places. More than 150,000 users are connected to such public WiFi daily.
Receiving the National ICT Award from the Government of Nepal in 2019, WorldLink brought broadband internet to remote areas of Karnali under the Telecommunication Authority’s Rural Telecommunication Fund project in the same year. That year, the CDC succeeded in attracting foreign investment.
By employing more than 4,000 people, WorldLink has become the largest employer in the field of information and communication technology. “Today, WorldLink has become synonymous with the Internet,” says Agarwal. “We are proud of it.”