Broadband Connection Swapping Trend Rises

By Waqar Hamza

The ratio of users switching broadband services has increased in the current year as compared to the previous one.

Being not satisfied with the present broadband internet provider, the ratio of subscribers moving from one network to the other has increased to 15% in the year 2011 which was previously only 2% in the year 2010, according to stats published by Pakistan Today.

Apart from the prices, from tech savvy home based subscribers to organizations using broadband, everyone demands one thing:  the uptime.

People want to be online anytime and everytime without any disruption in service. And seems like operators have failed to provide this level of satisfaction to the customers resulting a shift in services for them.

Moreover, increasing CAPEX (capital expenditure) and OPEX (operational expenditures) make it difficult for the companies not to lose their subscription base, and the results are definite reduction in subscriber number.

Broadband penetration in the country doesn’t seem to be going good as even after crossing 1million mark for broadband customers, we are still way behind as compared to the total population of 180 million, stats seem to be pretty less in fact. One of the main factors for this slothful growth rate is the service quality and to some extent the charges.

Availability of broadband in different areas is an issue which was much prominent in the past as after the inception of broadband in the country, it was available in the bigger cities only. Though the density has increased now but still there may be some issue regarding the services because of the availability.

This was pretty much covered with the initiation of WiMax services in the country but still the CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) charges are another issue.

PTA has shown keen interest in providing the customers with better quality of service and customer assistance be it a mobile company or broadband. But a lot needs to be done here, as we may be witnessing increased quality as well as customer assistance soon, with the introduction of 13 major internet service providing companies and 50 small and medium ones.


  • I am also using Linkdotnet 2MB package.

    Where in PTCL i am able to get 4MB in the price of LDN 2MB, but its all about quality, PTCL is the poor service provider with worst customers support.

  • This increase in churn will further deter the growth of broadband services. This is especially true for Wimax players who have to subsidise the cost of the CPE for every connection they sell.

    With PTCL, everyone knows what the situation is. The poor quality and performance of the copper network limits their growth potential.

    Are we digging a hole?

  • I am LinkDOTNet 2MB connection for the last six months. I am happy with their quality of service.

    Before switching to LDN, I was using PTCL 4MB with TV on the same line.

  • That is because internet is still expensive, slow and unreliable in this country.

  • Worldcall offers unlimited download but service is extremely poor. I think wi tribe is the best. quebee is fine too. whts do u says, which one is the best?

    • There is no “best”. In some areas, PTCL works well (no downtime, no line noise etc). A few streets away, people switch to for a better experience.

      Some people stick to smaller ISPs like Nexlinx even though they are more expensive (but give better customer support). A friends office used to use Nexlinx DSL, then tried HRI, then now use Nexlinx fiber (shifted office close to Gulberg).

  • We need more competition in DSL. jisse ptcl ke monopoly katam ho. Chineese broadband companies ko yahan aana chiye. Yes witribe is good but they dont offer high speed and expensive too and not purely unlimited.

    • I especially do not trust Chinese broadband companies because they might be sniffing my data.

      Right now, with PTCL and TW1 transparent proxies on their network, I do not feel 100% safe doing browsing. Has everyone forgotten the problem with Twitter and Facebook last year? All because of misconfiguration with PTCL’s proxies.

      I am glad that many sites now offer https instead of http and these transparent proxies are bypassed. But there are sadly ways to get faked SSL certificates and your browser will think they are real. Man In The Middle attack is possible at ISP level, for large ISPs.

  • Expensive Internet?
    We have some of the cheapest Broadband Internet in the World, hence the quality issue. Because the cost of network is the same all over the world. Though manpower costs might vary.

    • It is not cheap. Let’s look at a comparison: UK.

      For 22 pounds a month you can get 24 Mbit/sec down with no traffic limit and optional static ip.

      22 pounds a month is a little more than Rs 3,000/=

      A major major problem is that no one hosts websites inside Pakistan, evne sites for Pakistani market like this one. If bandwidth for hosting inside Pakistan was cheap, people would host here. But bandwidth prices are based on international rates, so every ISP needs international connection, and it is expensive in Pakistan.

      That is short sitedness of PTA and their master, PTCL. Another thing that could have been solved ten years ago but was not. Still not making plans to fix it.

  • Countries like UK and USA have strong established copper/landline networks. In Pakistan, only PTCL is a notable landline network operator. And quality is poor due to management issues.

    Wireless networks are more suited to developing countries. PTCL EVO has been aggressive in expanding its coverage. However, just like the introduction of mobiles in Pakistan, broadband prices are bound to go down while the quality goes up with increasing infrastructure deployed by wireless operators.

    Unfortunately, wimax in 3.5 GHz is too poor a frequency to ensure larger coverage areas using less infrastructure. So ultimately, EVDO operators like PTCL EVO and world call are expected to dominate the broadband market in future.

    • If you go back about eight years and read on UK DSL, you will find the exact same complaints about British Telecom as you find about PTCL: the copper is old/bad, they cannot give high speeds, support sucks, etc. The difference is British equiv of PTA forced BT to open up their exchanges for other companies, where as in Pakistan PTA did not apply enough pressure and PTCL just simply says “we don’t have colo space for your DSLAM in our exchanges” to other companies.

      PTA failed to control PTCL’s anti-competitive behaviour, and now we are in a mess where there in PTCL, and maybe a few other DSL ISP in only some parts of the urban areas (not all exchanges).

    • I am PTCL EVO user.. no issue at network level… i use it in my mobile van in different areas.. it is quit good in urban and 1x speed in remote areas…
      only thing i suffer is limited bandwidth.. due to which i get slow speed in peak hors like 8-10 PM.. and get extreme speed in morning and day time… up to 3 Mbps…
      Rate is quit comparative and mobility is a plus… love it…

      • In terms of frequencies I think we will have to wait until PTCL goes to digital terrestial broadcast before the 700MHz frequency can be freed. That can help wireless data services. Because it is freed in US, companies will build and sell equipment that uses that frequency range.

        • Oops sorry heh I meant PTV not PTCL. I sometimes get government white elephants confused :):)

  • I started my career with one well known ISP in 2003, when DSL was recently launched in Pakistan. I left this industry & country in 2010 when my patience was over.
    Reason that took this industry at the verge of disaster are various.
    1) Price War among companies
    2) Idiots sitting at top mgt of ISPs
    3) Not giving complete bandwidth for which customer pays for(in uddu kam tolna)
    4) Focusing on New sales more rather than improving support. (There has to be a balance)
    5) Greed

  • I also agree PTCL is providing the worst service. Nitro is also a drama. Many people are switching to other providers.

  • AOA

    I have been using in Lahore for the last 3/4 years and to be perfectly honest, their services have not been TOO bad. I also have a friend who has PTCL DSL internet and his internet has been working pretty much the same as my internet.

    One big difference that I have noted between DSL services in countries like US/UK and Pakistan is that DSL connections over there almost never get disconnected, unless ofcourse you disconnect them yourself, whereas Pakistani DSL both PTCL & can get disconnected as often as every half an hour.

    However, there is one thing to remember… The way our telephone lines are installed. At home as well as through the streets. In most cases the copper cable coming to your home is exposed to the natural elements like water, sun etc., resulting in carbon building on and in the copper wire. Once we resolve these issues, the DSL services usually perform very well.

    More users and more revenue will ultimately enable companies to spend more on infrastructure and ultimately better services.

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