Choosing Between 3G and Enriched EDGE Services

Pakistan’s Telecom market is on verge to hit 3G. There are strong speculations, that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority will not delay its emergence, though 3G coming in Pakistan is directly dependent on multiple things other than PTA itself.

There would be three 3G licenses available for five operating cellular companies. Well, this is will be decided later on (through bidding) that who will win the license and vice versa. But before that, join me in this discussion if cellular companies should go for 3G or there is a room available in enhancement and bettering already available EDGE services to meet mobile broadband requirements.

Every mobile operator is providing EDGE services through USB dongles or EDGE PCMCIA cards with different packages available ranging from hourly pricing to unlimited upload/download. But unfortunately, EDGE services are limited to major cities only while rest of Pakistan especially rural areas of country is left with GPRS in hands only – which is ‘Slow Speed note more than 3 Kb/s in many cases.

Even major cities of Pakistan are not fully covered with EDGE, like just take twin cities Islamabad / Rawalpindi as an example, if you visit some slum and well known areas of these cities, you will see GPRS sign along with 3G on your mobile phone.

We all know that EDGE is supposed to offer 384kbps connection that should support download speed of 40 Kbps, but these EDGE networks are normally seen to offer 256 kbps connection with download speed not exceeding 4 to 5 kbps. Few prefer using dialup connection instead of using highly claimed EDGE services.

I am confident that majority of customers will be contented if they receive EDGE with true network speed. Prior to 3G, it is vastly believed that PTA should bring forward it’s framework for current EDGE services by mobile operators.