State of Broadband Internet in Pakistan : Overview

Internet Service Providers in Pakistan are offering wide range of Broadband technologies, such as DSL, Cable, FTTH and WiMAX. Currently, DSL is the leading broadband technology in Pakistan with approx 65 percent market share, while major DSL providers in Pakistan are Micronet, LinkdotNet, Cybernet, Multinet and PTCL.

HFC (Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial) is the second largest broadband technology in terms of market share. Approximately, 25 percent of total broadband subscribers in Pakistan use FHC technology. Worldcall happens to be the largest cable modem broadband provider in Pakistan through the use of FHC network in Karachi and Lahore; along with comes Wateen Telecom which is also providing broadband using FHC. Competition in DSL market is easily seen, while the core retention element is the service and support.

Use of FTTH and WiMAX has increased, though not with the same ratio as in developed countries, but emergence and benefits of services such as IPTV is pulling customers towards FTTH. There are around 2800 FTTH and 20,000 WiMAX subscribers in Pakistan. Wateen Telecom and recently launched Mobilink Infinity are two WiMAX providers in the country. However, due to first of its kind experience of WiMAX technology, service issues are being reported.

Beyond WiMAX Worldcall’s EVDO services are recently introduced in Karachi; that are gaining some momentum. It is also told that PTCL is also nearing its EVDO launch in main cities of Pakistan.

At the end of July 2008, there were total of 170,000 broadband subscribers in the country, showing 150 percent increase in subscribers when compared with stats in July 2007. Despite this growth, Pakistan still lags behind in overall number of broadband subscribers, range of broadband services and investment in next-generation broadband technologies.

With (PTCL’s) wired and network capacity of about 5.5 million subscribers, it is foreseen that DSL may not cater the future broadband requirements of the country. This leaves a huge investment potential in Fiber and wireless broadband access technologies.

In such a scenario, expansion and up-gradation of infrastructure is required so that operators can deploy Next Generation Networks using Internet Protocol (IP). This will also trigger investment opportunities for the backhaul and Local Loop Infrastructure providers.

A significant reduction in broadband service cost has been observed in Pakistan, with per month subscription rate for 512 KB unlimited DSL is reduced from US $ 55 to US $ 16.

Not: Fact and Figures are from PTA’s 2007/08 Annual Report

Tech and telecom reporter with over 15 years of experience, he works as founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • And of course the definition of broadband in PAkistan is different to the globablly accepted one. Worldcall for instance calls its slowest connection of 128Kbps broadband. Globally broadband usually means a minimum speed of 256kbps. The US telecom regulator defines it as 768kbps or higher! I doubt even 25% of the reported “broadband” subscribers in Pakistan have 756Kbps or faster connections.

  • At least I am satisfied with my LDN connection…and was satisfied enough to upgrade from a 512kbps connection to a 2 MB one! And it is going classically well. we may not have the international broadband speeds but some companies here are letting us have at least SOME good service. Let the broadband revolution begin!!

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  • I am writing this on 14th August with all the patriotic spirit – yes, the independence day! But we have yet to liberate ourselves from these big fat corporate suckers who are controlling our technology and economy while they hand out to us the stinkiest of the shit. I think the state of broadband internet SUCKS in this country. Not just low bandwidth connections are being sold with the tag of broadband, but companies like PTCL have embarked on a different but shitty marketing strategy: they keep upgrading the bandwidths. When it was launched I got a 256k connection which was upgraded to 512k in a couple of months, and the difference wasn’t much. Now my connection is 2MB but connection speed tests showed that my maximum speed went to 200kbps – which is a big LIE and FRAUD. I spent two years in the USA and I had a 1 MB connection which was far faaaaaaaaaaaar better than the shit I’m getting from PTCL in the name of 2MB. It showed 1MB on tests accurately and even during peak hours when the performance slowed down, it never came below 120K download, otherwise I never felt the difference.
    And that’s not over yet: If you ever encounter a problem with your connection or feel the need to talk to PTCL, don’t expect that you’d be able to talk to them. A totally awful Customer Service will greet you as soon as you dial CS and you will keep listening to that bloody ptcl song till the time of your death or if you’re wise, you’ll hang up after waiting for a good 30-40 mins. That music will continue to haunt you all the time and even while you sleep, giving you nightmares. I have tried repeatedly to contact them, but to no avail. I am looking for any alternative internet provider in Lahore with some serious behavior and at least a pinch of honesty. I think PTCL has monopolized the market but I hope there’s something out there.

    • You summed it up spectacularly partner!!I have the exact same views. I have a 2 MB connection as well and am totally not satisfied with it’s performance nor PTCL’s customer services. Oh and that PTCL song,,,Damn!!! I get a feeling of suffocation just by thinking about it.

      I am looking for a change as well but I am not hopeful that a good ISP exists out there. My impression is that all the others are the same or even worse that these PTCL bastards!

      I notice that you made your above observation almost one and half year ago, so I ask, have you been able to find any alternative.If yes then please do let me know. I really am fed up with this scum(PTCL)and want to get a little more “bang for my buck”!

      I have a you-tube channel, you can contact me there as that is the fastest way to get in touch with me.

      Have a nice day and good Bye.

      My Youtube Channel :

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