Cellular operators have finally started providing unlimited internet services without any fair usage limits. One of the largest telecom companies in the country, Mobilink, recently came out with a mobile internet package that allows customers to have an unlimited data plan.
Up until now, all unlimited internet services had a fair usage limit. Therefore, even if the cellular operator advertised unlimited internet access, a disclaimer at the bottom would inform the user that a fair usage limit, usually amounting to two gigabytes, applied to the package. In this case, customers would be charged by the megabyte, once the fair usage data limit had been surpassed.
Internet users in Pakistan were faced with two limitations. One was being removed with the introduction of unlimited internet connectivity through mobiles. The second was the problem of speed – internet connections were just not fast enough. Countries with 3G internet technology allow mobile phones to have internet connections that are comparable to broadband in Pakistan.
Mobilink was the first cellular operator to introduce an unlimited mobile internet plan and data collection, charging a flat rate of Rs10 daily.
It seems that Mobilink had gone with GPRS instead of EDGE – the slower of the two. A spokesperson said the speed of the internet would vary from site to site.
According to analysts, companies would jump on the unlimited packages to remain competitive. They explained that internet like this, though slow, is usable enough for browsing. And if one can go without large-sized downloads like movies and large software, this could be the one and only source of internet.
One professional said that he did not use internet for anything other than checking his e-mail and that he could do that on his phone, or tether it onto his computer.
Tethering is a method by which the computer uses the mobile phone’s internet connection – it can be done either by wire or by wifi and the mobile phone becomes a wireless hotspot if the handset supports the feature.
This will probably open up lots of different avenues for flexible internet connections and later when consumers get faster internet on mobiles.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2011.
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