Broadband subscriptions near 31 million

All growth comes on back of 3G and 4G services

Our Correspondent April 20, 2016

KARACHI: Broadband subscriptions increased close to 6% (or 1.67 million) to reach 30.99 million in March, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), with mobile technology alone contributing to the growth.

This still translates into just a 15% broadband penetration, below Asia Pacific’s average of 37% and even below Africa’s 21%.

Pakistan's broadband subscriptions surpass 27m

Interestingly, the number of subscribers on fixed broadband remained the same as they were in February.

The number of internet users on DSL remained unchanged at 1.51 million.

Network quality survey

Meanwhile, the PTA, through an ongoing survey on the 3G/4G networks being offered by cellular mobile operators (CMOs), has found Zong to be the fastest in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar - the cities currently covered by the survey. Mobilink and Telenor followed, while Ufone was found to be the slowest among all four next generation mobile services providers (NGMS).

“...though the overall signal strength of Ufone and Telenor networks is comparatively better than those of Zong and Mobilink, because of more frequency spectrum used by Zong and Mobilink for NGMS, their quality is superior,” the PTA said.

High-speed internet: Broadband subscriptions near 30 million mark

The regulator was not entirely satisfied with any operator over the ‘call connection time’ category - the time it takes between dialling a number and hearing the ring-back tone.

The PTA also criticised some service providers for unwanted disconnection of call during a conversation.

It said the SMS successful delivery rate of Mobilink and Warid is below the standards, whereas the delivery time of successful SMS on all networks remained up to the mark.

The survey is meant to ascertain whether NGMS and CMOs are providing services as per Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set in their license and applicable regulations.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st,  2016.

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