Mobile Internet Packages: Preparation for 3G or Goodbye to 3G?

Everyone would have noticed by now that cellular companies are busy in introducing new and inexpensive mobile internet packages. This indicates that they are seeing the potential available in the market for mobile internet or GPRS/EDGE usage.

Zong was probably the 1st operator to introduce unlimited mobile internet back in July 2009, that too for just Rs. 200 per month. Other operators took a long route to understand the difference that Zong was making. Now (in 2012) almost every operator is offering mobile internet (GPRS/EDGE) packages based on their respective market segments and affordability in terms of revenues and network capacity.

This rise of Mobile Internet in Pakistan can be credited to increased penetration of smartphones, but they are not the sole contributors. Stats show that the usage of mobile internet on feature phones (Symbian) is around 75 percent (in March 2012) indicating that new age smartphones are still a long way behind the Symbian in Pakistan.

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In other words it’s largely the adaptability and not the smartphones that is making mobile internet a lucrative revenue stream for mobile operators.

Stats by StatCounter reveal that mobile users accessing internet were 15 percent of total internet users in March 2012, up from mere 3.61 percent just an year ago in March 2011. This shows how rapidly the mobile internet is becoming a norm for both the business and general users.

In addition to demand theory, there could be another reason(s) for the rise of mobile internet in Pakistan. Analysts opine that mobile operators are themselves responsible for this increased usage of mobile internet. They say that cellular companies have dramatically lowered the tariffs from Rs. 18 per MB to say Rs. 3-4 for 50 MB or around on a purpose, two purposes in fact. Which are:

1 – They want to prepare the market for upcoming 3G era. This way operators will not have to do the mass efforts to fetch users towards mobile internet or data services once 3G networks are live.

2 – Operators could possibly be evaluating the data demands of Pakistani market. Results of these evaluation could become a policy for their investment decisions in post 3G era.

In case of possibility number 2, results of these evaluations could be vital for Pakistani cellular market. As (for instance in case of poor results/adaptability) they can possibility pose a hurdle in emergence of 3G.

In simpler words, the adaptability rate of mobile internet usage during this time will set the direction of operators for going for 3G, or even after 3G. During the while, (regardless of 3G is coming or not) they will establish another revenue stream – i.e. data services – in addition to core telephony services which are voice and SMS.

Whatever the case is, the outcome is helping Pakistan with more internet users by every passing day.

You can drop a comment below to discuss other possible outcomes of this rise in mobile internet. Also you can share your viewpoint on shrinking tariffs and its relation with quality of services; is quality being compromised or not?

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Azi

    have simple question, what about the rate if 3G came will they provide low price internet as they are providing now or they will increase ?

    • Sacha Kaka

      3 to 6 times increase expected

  • Junaid

    With high number of deprecated handsets which use to run this SymbianOS..I see a terrible mislead with usage stats of SymbianOS. In my surroundings SymbianOS would be like 1/100… Android usage is on the high as per general cognitive perception….

    • admin

      S40 handsets come under smartphone definition. No matter how good or worse this definition looks like, but the fact remains the same when it comes to Internet usage, i.e. they have 75 percent market share.

      Also you need to consider that Pakistan isn’t only Islamabad, karachi or Lahore only. The real user base is in rural areas who are still happy with using Internet on their feature phones.

      • raz0rz

        Wrong. S40 and Symbian is not the same thing. S40 are feature phones aka dumbphones and they are NOT counted as smartphones. I thought you’d know this admin sahaab.

  • Rehan

    WeLL i cant wait for 3g to come been waiting for it since i bought my first 3g mob 3 years ago :P
    but i think pakistan is never gona be 3g or may be we become 3g when world shift to 10g
    still cant lose hope and as far as rate goes its gona be firing hot

  • Yes i have my self confirmed by Raja Parvez Ashraf that “3g will available before March 2013 .”

    • Raza

      thanks bro, your words are a big hope for me. Because after reading a lot about 3g in Pakistan, i was thinking that its not going to hapen. If u r true, then it will be great for all of us!

    • nomi

      just like he said load shedding will end before 31st december

    • hassan

      my dear Raja parvez also confirmed the electricity load shedding but never fulfill it on time and even after time. sorry to say but man please let me know when we will have 3 G i want to experience it this year

      • ALi

        bro ab to Raja g ki hkumt b khatam hogyi hai or 31march b guzr gyi hai …. lekin 3G technology abi b nhi i :)

  • Riaz

    Please purchase wifi enabled cell phone, make your home DSL to wifi, and engoy.
    Forget about 3G and release tension.

    • 100% Agree with you why daily we are talking about 3G

    • Already done ;-)

    • ahmad

      agre wid u bro

    • malik

      riaz saab ab koi important vdo file send karni ho r woh bhi urgent too pehlay ghar ja k wifi dhoonday bhalay aap ghar say 100 kilo meter honn ? samajhdari wali baat karoo yaroo

      • xaffar

        In addition to this, Wifi need power to spread the signals, so after getting back home if there is no power, ah, few more abuses to govt and then guys will choose the same shits in next election. Arrrrrrr

  • faiyaz

    and you guys still pump up zong in your writings.

  • hassan khan

    Well the analysis is preliminary. As you have mentioned the tremendous data growth has just open two options for the operators according to your article. The transition is from 3 to 15%. What about the changing user behaviour? Anyone predicted that? The mobile broadband is introducing tablets and many smart devices which are more powerful and data hungry then Mobile Phone. Emergence of IOS and Android will subsequently drain the Symbian effect. Cheapest Android is merely 12k and cheapest Q mobile smartohone is only worth 5,000.

    Besides thousands of chinese copies. Blackberry is emerging fast. Mobilink is already gearing tablets. USB Dongle market still holds the largest chunk of data services. If this transition goes from 15 – 40% in next year the game will be over for those Ops who cannot launch 3G services. Ops should use this vacume area due to political uncertainity to train the user to get ready for the rapid revolution. Telenor Warid Ufone already gearing up IPTV and VOD services which 384kpbs EDGE cannot handle. Hence when the market goes down to the saturation subscriber will only see quality above the price and these ops will surely suffer who dont have 3G or 4G services. Kindly save 3G from Raja Rental before its too late as we will be thrown in the Dial up age as per the track record of PTA and the ministries.

    • admin

      This opinion was just about mobile internet usage and possible driving force behind this.

      Like you mentioned, sure this uprise of mobile internet has the power the change the whole ecosystem, impacting multiple matrices.

      • Rama Saab

        Why do you use such complicated English? Try to write simple so everybody can understand you mr MA english

  • saad malik

    oh really, like the loadshedding was put to an end by MR. Raja Pervez Ashraf in December 2009… oh God im so happy that Pervez ashraf has eliminated the loadshedding and 3g will be made available before march 2013 and now i want him as minister for everything … lolx grow up buddy.

  • Usman Ahmad

    Why the Admin of this Website is focusing On 3G so many Times, My dear Friend let be Clear that 3G is not Cheap for End User , Leave this topic , No Body is interested in this type of Service.The Only Benefit is to Make Billions from the Auction of License, No Company can Mature their Investments in 3G in Pakistan.

    • Omair Ahmed

      Pakistan should have 3G service…Because whenever it will take apprx 1 year for prices to come down…So if 3G is launched in 2013 then it will be affordable* by 2014…
      If M not wrong Govt. PPP should not miss the oppertunity of earning Millions (if not billions) in Scam of 3G (i.e. Bound to happen either in this govt. or next) …
      May be for above reason they are delaying the 3G..It will launch after election next year..So they can eat the money without tension and issue of accountability…..!!!

      * General Public.

      • xaffar

        Omair Bhai, with refer to Iqbal’s “KHUDA NE AAJ TAK US QOUM KI HALAT NAHI BADLI”. I dont see anywhere that govt. of pakistan is not good, They do exactly the same what we choose them for. we (crowed) of pakistan have to think about better selection. But unfortunately by-election shows the same result. Meaning that Crowed is ready for another 5 years corruption, scandals, scam, blasts, hunger and what ever is possible, so its not govt, Its all about US

  • Saad Durrani

    To say Pakistan is not a 3G-friendly is wrong. Pakistanis love their video streaming. The younger, educated lot is interested in buying smartphones. Today, people fight over which is better: iPhone, Android or Symbian? It is stupid to unseek this opportunity.

  • mohammad zai

    dear admin what hapened to you urdu websit nowaday? you people not updating it please reply me .

  • mohammad zai

    3ggggg hahahahaha do’nt worry about it.pakistan will launch 100g in 2099 as soon as posible!

  • Ali

    People who are saying that pak have no scope for 3g.then what about afganistan,eygypt n so many other examples,those have low income than pakistanis but enjoying 3g.? 3g will make its share in our local market same as gsm users were increased from 1c to 11c during 10 years.

  • Ali Hafeez

    Any chance of doing a comparison of mobile internet services?
    speed test, cost to quality ratio (Download/Upload capacity in seconds), market survey,etc

  • Umar

    The way you chose headlines and such topics, shows that you are terribly poorly educated. What are you qualifications, if you aren’t ashamed to tell.

  • Soha

    losers… 3G is already in Pakistan with all rights reserved by PTCL…. its PTCL 3G evo device…

  • Abdul Haseeb

    Lol i dnt know why 3g is still a big issue here Afghanistan has already launched 3G in kabul with Etisalat network.I mean come on bangladesh jab karega 4G tab pakistan 3G karega?

  • You people just forget 3G,
    even EDGE/EGPRS is available with the speed lower then GPRS how could we thought about 3G speed..
    Even if it is available, we would have the same speed of EDGE in 3G LoL..
    Almost in Pakistan nothing happens on time, therefore we ought not to seek for it; if it real comes our Operators are very funny they will send 10th of messages per day to letting you know about a little update, the hell.
    So just concentrate on your other works instead wasting time on finding updates about 3G…

  • There is a free internet setting available for all mobile networks, then why paid for Internet? goto my website, all settings are available at engrz.com

  • Asad

    Happy with DSL

    Good bye 3G!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ha ha ha ha………….!!!!!!

  • Engr.Aftab khan

    The blushing news!!!
    I live in peshawar and in some places gprs doesnt works, so made cal to help line and i was suprised to know that they had updated their tower for 3g and it is delayd to gov to anounce it. But they said that maximum the acution wil be made in july but we cnt provid fix date to u…

  • salman khan

    yes, we want 3g for our handsets, but not main issue is 3g at this time, before the launch of 3g we need to finish load shadding, or a new invention of mobile chargers is reqiured ! And this invention is solar mobile chargers, otherwise forget about 3g.

  • Malik Amir Mahota

    now a days Pakistan mobile companies are not meeting the requirements for the mobile internet. Internet speed is very slow.3g is necessary for the time. we are so much backward even as compared to India in mobile companies race. they are providing 28 Mbps on mobile phones.while we are still in kbs. its time to think. Besides this, solar system is available in our country, but Govt. is not allowing them to operate openly. we should raise our voice for the availability of Solar system for common use.

  • Rama Saab

    3g is lightning fast and you can make video calls using apps on iPhone or android even you can call for free all over the world if you have a jailbroken iPhone.

  • akmal shah

    3g launch ker dai her mulk main 3g use ho raha hain sirf pakistan main 3g launch nahe howa isko plz launch ker dai thnk u

  • akmal shah

    3g launch ker dai her mulk main 3g use ho raha hain sirf pakistan main 3g launch nahe howa isko plz launch ker dain thnk u

  • Jack

    I got one very important question, when do you think will 3G networks with adequete speeds be available in Pakistan? I’m planning to move there by the end of this year.

    Thanks.

  • UD Brown

    pakistan mai 3G bohat mahanga ho Ga
    gprs toh aforedable han
    3G ki price bohat zayada ho Gi
    is liye wifi wala sell lo
    or 3G jitni speed k mazay urao

    2000par /m koi koi he dy Ga

  • UD Brown

    mera iak dost hai
    awais us k pass gprs wala mobile hai
    magr wo rozz 3g k baray mai parta hai
    usy toh jesy 3G ka bukhaar hai

    wesay b 3G mai mobile ki
    bettery time 6hour reh jati hai

  • Tayyab

    Yar jab aye gi to muje b inform kr dena. :)
    Thank you!

  • wahab

    80 percenet symbian users use net because GPRS is too slow for smartphones! this will change when 3g comes! i know a lot of ppl who have wifi in their homes just to use net on cellphone! these people will switch to 3g

  • cheema

    I like 3g