KARACHI: The number of broadband subscriptions in the country surpassed 27 million after cellular service providers sold more than one-and-a-half million high-speed mobile internet connections in January 2016, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
The number of broadband connections in the country increased to 27.8 million at the end of January, 2016 – the latest month for which data is publicly available – up 6% compared to 26.3 million of the previous month, data showed.
The number of 3G and 4G users reached 24.7 million in the month under review, constituting 89% of the country’s total broadband subscriber base. This was an increase of 6.6% compared to 23.2 million of the preceding month.
Among other technologies, EvDO registered a meagre 2% month-on-month (MoM) growth to finish at 1.35 million subscriptions and the number of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscriptions increased by 7.3% MoM to 22,197 at the end of January.
However, the number of DSL and WiMax users dropped by 0.33% and 0.73% MoM to 1,503,635 and 215,558, respectively, in the month under review. Mobile internet users now account for nearly one-fifth, 19.2% to be exact, of the country’s total cellular base.
The cellular mobile operators (CMOs)’ overall user base (voice and data users combined) increased by 2.1 million or 1.7% MoM to finish at 128 million subscribers at the end of January. Mobilink topped with almost 37 million subscriptions at the end of the review period followed by Telenor Pakistan, which finished second with 35.4 million users in the same period.
China Mobile Pakistan (Zong), Ufone and Warid were third, fourth and fifth operators with 24.6 million, 20.3 million and 10.8 million users respectively.
Also leading the mobile broadband category, Mobilink boasted over 7.6 million 3G users at the end of January followed by Telenor that had 6.8 million 3G users.
Zong remained third in the mobile broadband category increasing its 3G users to 5 million and its 4G subscriptions passed 400,000. Ufone’s 3G user base improved to 4.5 million while Warid surpassed 235,000 users on its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network at the end of January.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2016.