Pakistan's LTE speeds one of the slowest in the world

Published: February 6, 2016
PHOTO: Digitaltrends

PHOTO: Digitaltrends

A new report has revealed that Pakistan’s recently launched LTE network is the fourth-slowest in the whole world in terms of speed.

A detailed report released by Open Signal on 4G LTE speeds and coverage around the world for Q4 2015, revealed that Pakistan has an average LTE speed of just 4 Mbps; which is slightly above the average for speeds of 3G (3.5 Mbps).

When compared to the world average speed of 13mbps, Pakistan fares extremely slow.

South Korea and Singapore have set themselves apart by providing the best coverage and the best speed, respectively. Singapore provides its citizens the fastest average LTE speed of 37 Mbps.

Pakistan ranks way below; at the fourth-last position with an average of 4 Mbps, followed by Saudia Arabia, Costa Rica and at the very last, Iran.


Pakistan’s broadband subscriptions cross 25 million mark

Despite  its huge population and large surface area, neighbouring India provides average LTE speeds of as much as 13 mbps. However, Pakistan does have better coverage with 58% compared to 49% of India.

Moreover, according to the report which is based on the overall performance of the world’s global LTE operators, factoring in both average network speeds and network availability, LTE speeds in Pakistan have fallen down for both Zong and Warid in the last quarter from 8 mbps to 7 mbps and from 5 mbps to 4 mbps, respectively.

While Zong, the first network to launch 4G in Pakistan, provides more than double the speed when in comparison with the 3 Mbps provided by Warid, it however loses its edge when it comes to coverage; with 70% offered by Warid while Zong has only 56%.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • Malik Saab
    Feb 6, 2016 - 4:41PM

    Ok this is news for me. Pakistan has the better coverage of LTE with 58% compared to 49% of India.Recommend

  • Talha Siddiqui
    Feb 6, 2016 - 4:59PM

    I wish I can paste screenshot here of Pakistan’s 3G and 4G speedRecommend

  • Rahul
    Feb 6, 2016 - 5:34PM

    My 4G gives me 61 MBPS of speed. I stay in Mumbai.Recommend

  • Rahul
    Feb 6, 2016 - 5:42PM

    India has a faster speed than Sweden, Brazil, Japan, Hong Kong, USA, Malaysia and Thailand. Wow!!!Recommend

  • Rahul
    Feb 6, 2016 - 5:53PM

    The 4G speed around my residential area is 61 MBPS at it’s peak.Recommend

  • Aamir
    Feb 6, 2016 - 5:53PM

    I think the speed test is taken from the place where low 4G speed is being offered…!! I’m getting the same speed 4Mbps in 3G (Zong). It depends place to place!Recommend

  • Gemini
    Feb 6, 2016 - 6:30PM

    There are very limited areas in Karachi where you can get maximum from any broadband available. Zong 4G speed is good but in limited areas.Recommend

  • Jawad
    Feb 6, 2016 - 7:42PM

    I’ve actually used Warid 4g and have seen speeds of upto 10-14mb in some areas while using 4g in London I’ve also experienced 2mb speed on 4g, and vice versa as well, speed depends on the time of day(ie how many users are using it at that time) and the location. This is false propaganda.Recommend

  • Confused
    Feb 6, 2016 - 7:51PM

    In poor countries like Pakistan, quality in everything comes 2nd, 3rd, 4th, so on and so forth. Recommend

  • Munir
    Feb 6, 2016 - 9:44PM

    I don’t know what this article is talking about but having moved recently from Saudi, I can say that Zain (a local carrier there) was providing much much better internet service than Mobilink here. I’m using the same Motorola cellphone. Perhaps any expert can shed some light on this.Recommend

  • Fahim
    Feb 6, 2016 - 11:03PM

    Check Israel which is at top 4 Recommend

  • Parvez
    Feb 7, 2016 - 1:06AM

    Pakistan actually has 14 Mbps……but 10Mbps’s are on strike.Recommend

  • Punjabi
    Feb 7, 2016 - 1:30AM

    Almost Every city town and village in Punjab, India has 3g and 4g LTE coverage. IDEA planned to provide 4g lte to 700+ cities around India. AIRTEL Planned to cover almost Pan India till April 2016. RELIANCE JIO will cover 800+ cities till June 2016. Other firms in pipeline too. Soon area of coverage will be extended to 80+ % in few months. I got 19 to 20 mbps speed but still Dil ♥ maange more.Recommend

  • PakPower
    Feb 7, 2016 - 1:39AM

    I don’t know what kind of results are these. I use a dual-sim 4G phone (LG G4) and have got both a Zong and a Warid sim. While I concede that Warid’s speeds are horrendous 90% of the time (4-6 mbps) due to their lack of adequate spectrum, Zong’s speeds are consistently in the 16-22 mbps range. I aggregate my opinion over 4G consumption in Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Lahore.Recommend

  • Feb 7, 2016 - 4:11AM

    This is quite upsetting to be honest. This is digital world and I wonder how Pakistani businesses can succeed with a situation like this in place.

    In UK over 84% people now use internet me included via their mobiles for all sorts of things including businesses.

    The chart is absolutely wrong as UK and Germany are one of the fastest in Europe whereas this chart shows Hungary and Romania on top of these countries

    Perhaps a little more research is needed to put things right!


  • Rahul
    Feb 7, 2016 - 8:06AM

    Airtel in Mumbai gives 50-60 mbps of speed on average. I wish i could post pictures of the speed test over hereRecommend

  • bharat
    Feb 7, 2016 - 1:39PM

    4G is a waste of money.It costs too much.I prefer 3gRecommend

  • Muhammad Umair Masood
    Feb 7, 2016 - 2:19PM

    I use both Warid & Zong Lte. In case of Zong both the internet dongle & a cellphone sim. On Warid I’ve never got speed below 4 mbps though it does drop to EDGE in some areas where signal coverage is choppy. Zong both on my cellphone & the dongle averages 12mbps & on good days I get even upto 28mbps.

  • Aditya
    Feb 7, 2016 - 7:45PM

    Pakistan’s 58% coverage means 0.461 Milion square KM covered by LTE, while 49% of India is 1.611 Million Square KM. So, NO, Pakistan still lags behind India’s coverage. Recommend

  • Zain
    Feb 7, 2016 - 9:35PM

    I normally get 2 to 4mbps with Telenor 3g. And with Ufone 3g around 2 to 8mbps. I don’t know how OpenSignal collect data but mostly users having speed issues try different applications to check and boost connection speed. If this data is on the basis of number of handsets have installed particular application then I think it’s not very much reliable.Recommend

  • Adeel
    Feb 8, 2016 - 12:15AM

    @Aditya why don’t u consider the revenue which will be generating in India. And in Pakistan it is also very little. So now who is lagging? U have to divide that by 4 in terms of area and by 6 in terms of population when comparing it with Pakistan.Recommend

  • Adeel
    Feb 8, 2016 - 12:18AM

    Aditya, the difference is also in revenue, the revenue being generated in India is also high as compared to Pakistan. So, who is lagging now?Recommend

  • PakPower
    Feb 8, 2016 - 1:47AM

    Indian operators have more spectrum than Pakistan owing to 5 separate auctions and are also more established, with close to 6 years in the business. Therefore stop throwing around speedtest results and come back when we are on equal footing.Recommend

  • Saud
    Feb 8, 2016 - 10:38AM

    Using ZONG 4G and its giving much more then what you are saying, never have gone down in single digit.. in some areas i have experienced 54 Mbps, where they are testing connections in a strong room or in Tora Bora caves? Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Feb 8, 2016 - 4:07PM

    You should be comparing your 4G coverage with India’s 3G coverage since the speed seems to be the same.Recommend

  • Aditya
    Feb 8, 2016 - 5:16PM

    India has huge landmass, and it’s very difficult to cover all the parts of country. 49% is still very good when compared with your 58%. When we have covered 49%, it still means that we have covered 4 times the area you have covered. I don’t know why you are saying that we should base our comparison on India/4 = Pakistan equation. Business is not based on area and population but on feasibility of business. Recommend

  • Abdul Basit
    Feb 8, 2016 - 8:31PM

    This shows how much free hand these operators have and how much anyone care about the end users. All regulatory authorities only care about moneyRecommend

  • Mohammad Faizan Farooq Khan
    Feb 8, 2016 - 10:31PM

    Whenever I have visited Karachi the internet connection has always been good. However in Rawalpindi/Islamabad area the speeds have always been pathetic. In the modern world all business ventures are dependent on good internet connections. We should establish effective transmission terminals throughout the major city centers to ensure that LET speeds remain consistent and good. Recommend

  • Politically Incorrect
    Feb 9, 2016 - 12:50AM

    @PakPower: You will never be on equal footing…Recommend

  • Vicky
    Feb 9, 2016 - 1:56AM

    Internet users in South Asia ================== China internet users-668,110,314, Percentage-48.80%, Rank-1
    India internet users- 402,000,000, Percentage-33.22%, Rank-2
    Pakistan internet users-35,063,037, Percentage -18.40%, Rank-19
    Nepal internet users-10,690,000, Percentage-40.30% Rank-41
    Bangladesh internet users-10,637,566, Percentage-6.50% , Rank-42

  • MJ
    Feb 9, 2016 - 5:16AM

    Over the air speeds are a function of underlying technology, distance from the tower (signal strength) signal quality (noise on spectrum and user congestion) as well as the type of connection from the tower back to the local office of your carrier. To get higher speeds the backhaul connection needs to be ethernet. A lot of service providers are still using T1 connections and copper to connect between different hops instead of fiber. Another issue that Pakistan faces is that the submarine cable that brings internet to Pakistan from the gulf is very congested. As far as the speeds are concerned in the article, they must have taken samples in different locations in Pakistan at different times and based on the resources available it may be highly inaccurate, not just for Pakistan but the rest of the world as well. Recommend

  • PakPower
    Feb 9, 2016 - 11:21AM

    @Politically Incorrect:
    Sorry to burst your bubble but unless the next generation mobile network comes from India, we will be on equal footing in terms of mobile internet in the next 4-6 years.Recommend

  • Mar 25, 2016 - 7:06AM

    Well I have been using LTE throughout my travels and I can say Zong 4G is really doing well in Islamabad compared to providers in middle eastern countries and china where the internet is super slow due to higher number of subscribers I thinkRecommend

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