KARACHI: Telecom operators added more than 3.94 million mobile broadband subscribers during the July-October period mainly due to increasing demand for internet services in different parts of the country.
According to statistics compiled by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the number of mobile broadband users increased to 60.2 million by the end of October 2018 from 56.08 million at the start of current financial year in July.
In the overall addition of 3.94 million, Ufone added the highest number of mobile broadband users, which stood at 1.47 million. It subscribers base of 3G users reached 8.1 million - an all-time high for the company since the introduction of broadband internet services.
Ufone is the only operator in the country with only 3G services whereas the remaining three operators offer both 3G and 4G services across the country.
Industry analysts said mobile companies with speedy and uninterrupted broadband services had succeeded in grabbing the maximum share in the increase in the number of subscribers of the telecom sector. Further support is coming from smartphones that are fast replacing simple keypad phones.
"Every month Pakistan imports 900,000 smartphones," said Karachi Electronics Dealers Association President Muhammad Rizwan Irfan. "People with only basic education are also opting for the smartphones; trends are changing."
The analysts were of the view that the growth in internet users depended on the expansion of the network and the performance of technology besides cost competitiveness of the packages offered by different operators.
As per PTA data, Jazz added 1.32 million mobile internet subscribers in the July-October period. Its total subscribers of 3G and 4G services reached 20.5 million.
Jazz was followed by Zong with an increase of 1.04 million subscribers and the total stood at 17.66 million. Telenor added 93,528 mobile broadband users during the four-month period. Its base reached 13.72 million by October.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2018.
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