What's Better: 3G, no 3G or 4G?

No doubt, “TMT”, Technology, Media and Telecommunications will be a next BIG thing in the world and it is now not so far to expect that in every part of the world, maximum percentage of the people will be dependent to “TMT”.

Technology is evolving day by day; From TV’s to IPTV, Internet TV and now 3D TV and highly innovative mobile phones like Apple IPhone and Google Nexus Android are the examples of technology evolvement in last 2 years.

From Dialups to Broadband and now Fiber to the home and 4G / LTE mobile networks, People are getting used to high Data speeds and usage of DATA and information Accessibility is much in trend these days.

While reading news that India is going to launch bidding for 3G services soon like there are rumors that it will be in March or April, 2010. There is another neighboring country, Bangladesh planning to auction 3G this year.

I started a discussion with my friend about 3G services in Pakistan and its usage and especially it’s “SUCCESSION RATE” in the Pakistan. Because launching services for the sake of launching and global market equilibrium will definitely not worth it – if this service does not give a return.

PTA is looking in to matter of 3G services bidding that is for sure, as it is also stated in PTA’s recent annual report. PTA states that 3G as fuel for increasing ARPU.  Let us look by segmenting different topics on 3G services in Pakistan.

First alarming question that came into mind is that should Pakistan go for 3G networks or beyond it, by beyond I mean 4G, E-Edge?

    I will present you the facts you can draw your answers and can post and discuss in comments as well:


    • Mobile market is penetrated to 58%
    • Subscribers have reached 97 million figures, expected to be 100 Million soon.
    • ARPU’s are low because of excessive usage of Voice services
    • Local content for using mobile broadband like 3G is not as such available.
    • 3G will require huge imports for equipments infrastructure and can result in devalue of a Rupee.
    • New generation mobile phones like Apple IPHONE, Google Android, Windows mobile etc, are available in Pakistan.
    • Usage of new generation phones in masses.
    • DSL broadband has market share of 64% out of total broadband – Out of 413,809 total subscribers DSL has 262,661 subscribers.
    • There are only 2 Mobile TV’s available  i.e. Telenor & Mobilink

    Prospects: How Useful 3G Services could be?

    • Advertisement pushing services on mobile in form of MMS or video clips.
    • Mobile TV
    • Mobile broadband
    • Revenue opportunity for Mobile handset market whole-sellers, retailers.
    • High mobility for professionals, dependent on the 3G network coverage and deployment.
    • Local content development opportunities.
    • High stream Video telephony
    • More competitive rates to subscribers

    And list goes on!!!

    Will 3G deployment create opportunities?

    • More Jobs, but mobile operators will prefer to hire internal resources on the same projects, because this is just an upgrade to technology and will not require much resource.
    • Opportunities for Telecom and IT vendors.
    • Customer service Outsourcing could also be in consideration of mobile operators, so it will outsourcing industry.
    • Mobile handsets selling & buying opportunities
    • High ARPU’s
    • More mobile subscribers

    What could be in Danger?

    • Demand shift: Some mobile handsets may get obsolete and this could be also possible some old handsets with 3G feature may become expensive.
    • After a while of 3G services launched, DSL Broadband service providers could be in danger because of mobile broadband. But let’s see what time has to say about it.

    3G vs 4G

    Frequency band1.8 – 2.5GHz2 – 8GHz
    Data rateUp to 2Mbps100Mbps moving – 1Gbps stationary
    FECTurbo-codesConcatenated codes

    As an end user, I was more keen about speed, and 2 Mbps seems more than perfect to me – with 3G. However, 100 Mbps or even 1 Gbps could be heaven, but this looks unreal to me, at least in Pakistan for next 4/5 years.

    It is debatable, if we should wait for next few years to get 100 Mbps or we should be contented with 2 Mbps for time being.


    3G services will definitely add value to mobile user experience. But with that PTA has to make sure that 3G services’ availability and accessibility must be deployed at masses and must ensure some best key performance indicators for the evaluation of 3G speed variability.

    With that local content developers have great opportunity to earn much revenue from. Even though we have not seen much local WAP portals or mobile sites that could offer local content even on 2.5G mobile networks.

    With this PTA also needs to ensure the market equilibrium by launching these services, which may be affected in future.

    3G articles from ProPakistani Archieves