4 Million 3G Users: Surpassing All other Broadband Technologies in Pakistan

Considering recent announcements from telecom operators, we can firmly say that 3G subscribers in Pakistan have surpassed the combined subscriptions for all other broadband technologies, including WiMAX, DSL, EvDO, FTTH, Satellite, HFC and others.

While Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is yet to formally release the stats, three mobile phone companies have so far officially announced that each of them crossed 1 million 3G subscribers.

According to official statements, Mobilink had 1 million 3G users on October 22nd, 2014, Telenor had 1.3 million 3G users on October 28th, 2014 while Zong just said that it had 1 million 3G users on September 30th, 2014. Ufone hasn’t said a word so far about its subscribers.

Our sources confirm that Ufone is standing around or over 1 million 3G users, while Telenor, Mobilink and Zong must have added more 3G subscriptions since their respective announcements for crossing 1 million 3G users.

Based on official announcements, there are at least (repeat: at least) 4 million 3G users in Pakistan as of today.

Not to mention, we have picked official announcements and lowest estimates to remain on the safe side.

With these figures, we can ascertain that 3G subscribers have crossed the numbers for all other broadband technologies, that too with-in just six months of the auction of 3G and 4G licenses.

It merits mentioning here that according to latest publicly available stats, there were 3.63 million broadband users in Pakistan till April 2014 for all technologies combined.

Having said this, there are serious concerns regarding the way a 3G user is counted. While there is no established definition for counting 3G user yet, cellular companies and PTA have contented to consider a user as an active 3G subscriber if he/she has carried out a single paid 3G activity in last 90 days.

Moreover, cellular companies announcing their subscription stats is a new trend. Previously Pakistan Telecommunication Authority used to announce the stats. While the regulator had no check on operators even in the past, but it was an accepted norm for PTA to announce the stats.

This rapid uptake is an hint that Pakistani audience is dead hungry for data services and we are likely to cross 10 million mark with-in first year of 3G services.

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


  • ahmad raza

    great news but bad news for ptcl company in future user of ptcl like evo will be less…..

    • Khurram ShahzAd

      Any bad news for ptcl is good news for us, they have given too much pain with their third class value on services and third class customer support. Hate PTCL but here I am still forced to use ptcl products due to no alternatives available

      • I wonder why so many people are unsatisfied with PTCL. I am using PTCL 2 Mbps Broadband connection for the past two years. And I have never seen any big issue with their service. Instead, I found their customer support very satisfactory.

        • Khurram ShahzAd

          Their infrastructure must be new in your area. They just do zero maintenance in lots of areas. they are semi-gov now but same old gov employee culture is in there.

          LOts of times my phone line gone down and it only came up after two weeks that too when I complained with pta about it that ptcl is not hearing me. There is continues static in my line barely supports 4mbps.

          Other things too, I purchased an evo nitro years ago. requested static ip on that but after that device did not worked for a month due to issue in their system for static ip. later they deactivated the static ip thing to run the device and i had to pay full bill.

          Later on same device but new connections had to pay less than me for a life.

          later got another evo coz old package was not feasible as compared to new in just months they decreased the data limit by 33% as compared to advertised.

          There is lots more to it, in our office two 4mbps and one 8mbps connections, none of lines are clear, there customer support sucks, the person visited office just said line is not clear and three weeks and lines still not clear.

          I remember having their vfone, that was shitty too. So they are total waste. But here we are with no alternatives.

        • Khurram ShahzAd

          Their infrastructure must be new in your area. They just do zero maintenance in lots of areas. they are semi-gov now but same old gov employee culture is in there.

          LOts of times my phone line gone down and it only came up after two weeks that too when I complained with pta about it that ptcl is not hearing me. There is continues static in my line barely supports 4mbps.

          Other things too, I purchased an evo nitro years ago. requested static ip on that but after that device did not worked for a month due to issue in their system for static ip. later they deactivated the static ip thing to run the device and i had to pay full bill.

          Later on same device but new connections had to pay less than me for a life.

          later got another evo coz old package was not feasible as compared to new in just months they decreased the data limit by 33% as compared to advertised.

          There is lots more to it, in our office two 4mbps and one 8mbps connections, none of lines are clear, there customer support sucks, the person visited office just said line is not clear and three weeks and lines still not clear.

          I remember having their vfone, that was shitty too. So they are total waste. But here we are with no alternatives.

          • I can understand what you are complaining of. I have also heard similar stories of so many other people.

            I live in Misri Shah, Lahore. PTCL service is not new here. But I am satisfied with their broadband service so far.

            As far as EVO is considered, I really hate it. I have tried EVO 3 Mbps, 9 Mbps, etc, etc. I tried these in many places in Lahore. But the speed was almost similar to dial up. Really below average speed.

            But my experience with Broadband and their support has remained very good. May be I am lucky or so…

  • Shoaib

    Breaking News.As expected, 3G users have crossed 4 million figure.As total figure is still not clear, but from analysis, figure may be around 4.3 million.Further growth will be exponential and figure may cross 10 million within further 4 months as Warid will join the competition also through 4G LTE.Now all companies will compete with one another, will improve their quality based on customer experience, upgrade their technical infrastructure accordingly and benefit of all these will go to common consumers who will get quality service at cheaper rates.Data revolution is imminent now.

  • Sitara Samoon

    good news after 3g/4g, now pemra is starting dth……

  • Sitara Samoon

    dth is comming wooow hd pictures etc..

    • Bilal Aahil

      we need this, we really do.. we have good enough tv’s in our home’s and picture is never clear enough. this is perfect.

    • Bilal Aahil

      finger’s crossed for Netflix in few year’s

      • Ahsan Farooq

        Netflix ???? plz share any link to confirm …dth is always a dream .P..

        • minhaaj

          Netflix a dream? I got netflix when they launched it in Sweden its just as good as PTCL online collection. There are copyright issues with majority of the cool stuff. Pay Per View would be great!

    • Geekpk

      cable operators monopoly gonna end.

    • Saad Thahim

      Whats dth and whats the source of this news?

  • ali

    Good one.

  • Bilal Aahil

    so apparently 3G is adopted by everyone who use other broadband services [PTCL, Evo Wimax] but no just that ppl beside that have joined in [no more sitting home to use internet], which clearly means just one thing, we never had a better internet services before this and we all are enjoying and which will obviously why it will continue to grow. Other ISP need to rethink what they are offering and at what price.

    • Shoaib

      Agreed.Now consumers are enjoying quality service at affordable rates due to competition.

      • Bilal Aahil

        yes, i don’t even get half of the promised speed from ptcl and 3G on my phone is three times faster what im getting from ptcl and that should be my data transfer rate from them, 8Mbps up and 1 Mpbs down but only 2Mbps is what i have been getting and that is barely.

  • Usama Ahmed

    now please please unblock YouTube so we can fully enjoy 3G packages.

    • Qaiser Khan

      Get zong 3G and youtube will work

      • AbdulBaqi1

        how?

        • Qaiser Khan

          Youtube is working on ZONG 3G and 4G

  • Pakistanis also enjoy fast internet services.thanks for 3g and 4g

  • Aamir, I hope you also accounted for the fact that traditional broadband is usually a shared connection, like my DSL is used by about 7 people in the house. Its even higher for offices and public Wi-Fi places.
    While 3G/4G connections are usually individual and aren’t being shared among people. There are five 3G subscribers in my home while only one Broadband DSL subscription.
    i think a safer estimate would be to multiply the number of Broadband subscribers by an average of 5 if we need to compare that to 3G adoption.

    • Shoaib

      3G/4G connections can also be used by multiple people.Say you have seen some video through 3G on smart phone, your friend may also watch it on your phone after you or you both see it together.Internet sharing is no problem now a days.It is just like traditional DSL.

  • I was expecting a huge decline in PTCL Broadband Rates. But the prices remained the same even after the launch of 3G and 4G.

    Moreover, one thing is clear. You can’t live without Broadband even if you have activated 3G packages on your phone.

    • Shoaib

      Rates have been reduced.2MB PTCL DSL with data volume of 10GB is now available at Rs 750/ per month.Competition is on.

      • I already know about these packages. But these packages nowhere mean that the rates are reduced. These simply mean that some new packages are introduced.

        10GB bandwidth is so insufficient even if you do not browse videos, etc. This bandwidth will be eaten up within 10-15 days of normal browsing.

        So, the fact is there. No rates are reduced.

        Tomorrow PTCL may introduce new packages, say, Rs.150/month with data limit of 1GB. But that will not mean that its time to celebrate for some rate reductions.

        • Shoaib

          Wait for six months when all 3G/4G operators will be in full swing by provision of quality service in most parts of country(Rollouts will be 70% completed).At that time you will see substantial reduction in rates.

          • Shoaib

            Now Mobilink is providing unlimited 3G at rates of Rs 600/.So competition will force all operators including PTCL to reduce their rates substantially.

  • شہباز

    There are good packages available in mobile companies and we may get rid of PTCL monoply over high speed internet.

  • Yasir Mahmood

    HaHa
    @Amir
    By “Others” ,You Mean PTCL?

  • Khurram ShahzAd

    Stats may not be that reliable, if I used a 3G internet for 10 mins in week/month, calling me a 3G subscriber will not be fair but telcos do that. Its actually activated on my mobilink powered phone via their 443 code but I rarely use it.

    Plus on dsl and other mediums we can watch vids and download movies fearlessly, but on 3G its real impossible. Even using for light browsing etc not possible with telcos just covering tiny %age of locations.

  • Khurram ShahzAd

    Stats may not be that reliable, if I used a 3G internet for 10 mins in week/month, calling me a 3G subscriber will not be fair but telcos do that. Its actually activated on my mobilink powered phone via their 443 code but I rarely use it.

    Plus on dsl and other mediums we can watch vids and download movies fearlessly, but on 3G its real impossible. Even using for light browsing etc not possible with telcos just covering tiny %age of locations.

  • Khurram ShahzAd

    Stats may not be that reliable, if I used a 3G internet for 10 mins in week/month, calling me a 3G subscriber will not be fair but telcos do that. Its actually activated on my mobilink powered phone via their 443 code but I rarely use it.

    Plus on dsl and other mediums we can watch vids and download movies fearlessly, but on 3G its real impossible. Even using for light browsing etc not possible with telcos just covering tiny %age of locations.