PTA Continues its Quest of 3G in Pakistan

pakistan_cell_phone_userPakistan; a simple nation of 170 million and a bit more, completed a decade of telecommunication change last year.

From the days of landlines and costly cellular services, we are now apparently a mass of 100 million mobile users, connected to our friends, family and the wider world through the power of 5 operators. However, stagnation has begun to infect this process of change as the focus remains limited to the primary purpose of mobile communication: voice, with a hefty sprinkling of SMS.

Over the last few years, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has periodically released statements on the introduction of 3G services within the country. Their initiative towards this upgrade in technology is two-pronged: maintaining parity with the options that are available internationally and enhancing the investment into the telecommunication sector of the country. While the goals are admirable, the PTA’s blind chase for short-term benefit continues to push away the mobile operators from any commitment on this project.

3G represents a spectrum allowing for higher speeds of data transmission. On the international front, Hutchison Telecom was synonymous with the technology at the turn of the century, creating the operator 3, with the key facet of video calling. With the advent of mobile internet and smartphones, the need for quick access to information and the ability to use multimedia on devices prompted for further adoption of this technology.

In the first instance for Pakistan, the multi-million dollar license fees that were planned by the PTA have not won them any support from the industry till date. After all, each operator is a business entity that needs to provide a return to its stakeholders on the investment, and PTA’s vision does not have the backing of any market analysis at this stage.

A quick scan over the alleged 100 million mobile subscribers reveals the large hindering blocks to any immediate 3G implementation in the country. Only 4% or so are GPRS/EDGE users; that means approximate 4 to 5 million mobile users have access to internet over their devices. This would include the Blackberry service users, who form only a speck in the entire mobile subscriber base. However, the push towards more incorporation of data services has shown an upward trend in the last year or so, with the service operators keen on hooking more users to internet applications and services.

But there is a large gap to cover and it will take time. A major chunk of mobile users are not as tech-savvy or resourceful to purchase and utilize the added services on offer. This has prompted mobile operators to customize their extra services to SMS usage, instead of pure data or internet sessions, and the consistent reluctance to sign up for 3G investment, which is unlikely to be widely adopted by the consumer.

With a new entrant to Pakistan’s cellular market extremely unlikely for 3G, the PTA should look into prompting for an improvement to current services, and encouraging operators to increase the bandwidth and coverage of current data services, allowing for better speeds and more consumer access. Jumping stones simply to show the world that we are as advanced as the rest is of no interest to any business entity, least of all, mobile operators.

Time the PTA came out of their glass dome and understood that with a 40% poverty rate, the number of G is far from the mind of the average consumer at this stage.

  • The cellphone companies should just stop this racketeering and depriving a great nation of 180M people of 3G. If they don’t want to bid for the licenses, please just withdraw from Pakistan, and allow others to introduce 3G or 4G here.

  • once upon a time people thought people cell phone are going to be too expensive for the people of subcontinent, then internet and then DSL, smart phones and list goes on and on were expensive all those skeptics were wrong before and they will be proven wrong once again… just look at Indian market…. Is 3G a failure there?? I know they are different but check out their results in states where poverty was high…. Let 3G come to PK and it will be a success story

  • Pakistan mei 3G ka future tareek hi nazar ata hai.. bcuz vo sub kuch en key bari bari tondooon kay peechay chup jata hai..

    bahi yeh log rishwat ni ghain tay tu kam kasey chale ge ?

  • dost
    3G is already here.. only GSM version of 3G is not available.
    3G was developed as High speed mobile Data service. it has application in GSM, WiMax and CDMA.
    CDMA (EVDO PTCL/Worldcall) and Wimax ( numerous operators) are already providing hi speed wireless connectivity and currently struggling to survive anti-competitive practices by PTCL Broadband.
    in my opinion Wireless high speed data market is already saturated by Evdo and Wimax, why introduce GSM based services at exorbitant cost.
    there are dual sim broadband Chinese sets avaliable which can surf on Evdo sim and call on GSM sim. basically reducing any potential of 3G. its a matter of time some wise guy import these cheap sets from china (its a hint guys;))

    so in my opinion 3G mobile services is a loss case for any operators, Now.

  • “Only 4% or so are GPRS/EDGE users; that means approximate 4 to 5 million mobile users have access to internet over their devices. This would include the Blackberry service users, who form only a speck in the entire mobile subscriber base.”

    what speed of GPRS and EDGE and operator provide sucks speed compare to DSL and Wifi if 3G lunch in Pakistan and good speed every one use 3G

  • 3G mobiles has been introduced since 4 years ago, cuz Nokia have been creating 3G phones since 2006.
    Then iphone came with no 3G support so it was not a big deal for Pakistan but other countries.. Now it does and similar other mobiles like blackberry and android are comming with 3G too.

    which means every mobile is comming with 3G support but still there is no 3G is Pakistan.

    Its 2011 now and pak telecom said it will come in end of 2009. Then said in end of 2010. Now its 2011 .. Are they ever going to give us 3G or not ?

  • Gprs/Edge users are 4% because its still too expensive, out of 4 millions, i am quite sure more of them using zong internet, its internet packages are realy affordable and clearly the most reasonable than offered by other operators in Pakistan, mobilink is providing unlimited for 500 only for postpaid and same by ufone, but ufone is providing just 1.5gb/month for 500, on the other hand zong is providing 2gb for 200, and 4gb for 400, now come to warid and telenor, warid is providing just 2gb for 500, and same by telenor both only for postpaid users, when i asked telenor to bring attractive internet packages for prepaid, they always show me there foolish and useless packages they offers, like “UNLIMITED” internet for Rs.10/day, and in real they give only i think 5mb or 3mb, and they think, they are top competitors by providing such internet packages. So how the hell users will afford to use these “UNLIMITED” packages of telenor, warid, mobilink or ufone? And these 4 operators says the internet users are not enough to move towards 3g, what the hell!! Reality is not hidden telenor!! Decrease rates, increase consumers, thats how it would be!

  • They talk about cell phones, anyone is willing to buy a phone with bluetooth, camera, wifi these day’s right ?? In 2009 it would cost u around 25 to 30, you can get one with 3g network as well on 15 thousand, samsung monte, technology gets cheaper with time, its not gold, oil or cheeni that prices are gona go up. With 3g people will be able to use video calling features, those away from home will definetly use it, with no hesitation. Then they talk about educating people nd telling them what 3g is, go back 10 years no one knew what cell phone was in the rural areas, and if you recol what was the time period of aims to go gsm, it was hardly for 3 to 4 years then (2g) gsm was all over the market. ALL LAME REASONS FOR NOT GOING 3G.

  • itz da duty of govt too to lessen the prices of 3g licences there in pakistan, 3g is not too costly to an average customer, here in india 3g phones cost as low as Rs.3000 n data charges as low as 160/month. if nepal & bangladesh are changing into 3g why not our beloved pakistan, we have to change with future n 3g is future of telecom services, no matter only 4% are gprs users currently figures may change into 50% in just couple of yrs, others countries are introducing 4g with speed 80Mbps by 2012 & pak????

  • Hi im agree with u im living in rurul area of sargodha. in 2005 i did’t know what is mis call and know i have a 3g phone and spent houres on internet we need 3g know

  • Just 4% people in Pakisan use EDGE/GPRS and the rest of them use Wi-Fi on mobiles because GPRS is too expensive and slow.
    If one of those companies provide 3G then I believe that at least 40% to 50% Pakistanis would be using it. People who never use mobile internet would also come to 3G as soon as they find out about video calling. These stupid companies are too scared to take risks. Shame on them.

  • shame on US.. WE are dead peoples living in this rubbish country.. i give you surety that Afghanistan will brought 3G network before us.. we shall die

  • 3G hahaa :P

    Pakistan cant afford that at any cost at current situation….if you compare us with India….we have a population of 170 Million and on the other hand they have of more than 1 Billion….even a flop movie in India takes its Gross Revenue more than its Budget….so is the case with 3G there….the Quantity of Customers made 3G work there…but in Pakistan its really Difficult…..

  • I hate mobilink and telenor. Esp. Mobilink. But beleive me people 3g WILL be here and wil be introducd by non other than the creative U-Fone. I am a mobilink user.. It is expensive and just as corupt as ths goverment. Just pray u guys everythng is gona be alrite. And plz dnt blame the country. Its the ppl who run it are respnsble.

  • what the hell u mean by 3 or 4% have u ever checkd gprs speed??no even mad could think of using net at that speed and u r saying or mocking at us maximum speed i saw was 15kbs in islamabad,the federal capital..r u joking with us.see the net cafees,broadband users and then say somethng huh 4% my foot even 1%should not use net at that damn slow speed.

  • Plz plz give us 3G..we hve a great need for it.these days every cel phne suport 3G but our badlck that there is no 3G.

  • plz give us 3G..we hve a great need for it.these days every cel phne suport 3G but our badlck that there is no 3G sims

  • Plz provide 3g it’s important for pakistani people to come equal to other fast technology country thanks!!

  • I think 3g services will acheive their targets to increase customers of data use.But only if PTA allows LTE to the 3g networks.

  • Salam my dr pakistani.

    As u know guys that mobile technology is developing very fastly that v cann,t campare with other technology,i.e in a very short spain of time less than 10 yrs they jump from switch integrated circut to 3 G ,4G,and 5G ,WiMax.

    There are 5 mobile operators in pakistan and they all only concentrated on voice and on the old data tech ,GPRS/EGPS.

    Most GSM and CDMA operators of the world are now providing the full 3G technology but only the pakistani mobile operators are not able to lunch the 3G ,i know that it is not very expensive as they pursive bkz there are a huge number of users who are wishing to use the 3G .

    I my self using the ZONG SIM for intenet bkz other operators are charging very high and there is no difference in their bandwidth/internet speed. Now it is the time to lunch the 3G by every operator bkz there are alot of internet users in pakistan and about 60 to 70% mobile sets are built in 3G tech.

    Why u are waiting?

    it is the time to incease ur product line/value added services and double ur revenve and incease the profit per user.

    I hope that at the last of 2011 one must be lunch the 3G,and will be the dominate of the 3G techi.,the remaning wil not compet them.

  • Hey pakistanis there is some other problems we can talk about. We in India never talk about 3G even today when we have it we don’t cry for it.

  • govt me jo b ata hai khane k lie ata hai, tech aur development k lie kharcha karte hue in ko maut parti hai,


  • bhai shukar kero jo mila huwa hai iss government ne us ko tabbah nai ker diya or 3g ke liye apne bacho ko naseehat kar jao kio ke tum logo ko 3g nai milne wala

  • india mein 3g kab ka active hai, jab k why not in pakistan???????? ham loog waise to india ko apna dushman kehte hain, laikin hamaray ghar indian movies aor dramas 24 hr chalte hain . ham loog bijli , cheeni , piaz , tomato , railway engine SUB MEIN INDIA K MUHTAJ HAIN . SHARAM AANI CHAHYE HAM LOOGON KO???????????????????????

  • hello friends,i am happy to hear that 3g is going to be released and licensed in march 2012 in after that date millions of pakistani’s will be using 3g in their mobile for high charges but after some time charges will be lessed.([email protected])

  • I am selling my iphone4 and coming back to 1110. i realy like atif’s comments. if they launch 3g it would be out of reach common users. it will be in range but only for mummy dady bachay.

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