As internet usage grows rapidly in Pakistan, telecommunication companies, chiefly Mobilink, Telenor, Zong, Warid and PTCL, have all joined the race in providing not only the best, but also the most affordable and the most efficient 3G mobile broadband devices and packages in the country.
We are often asked by our readers about the best option to go for in terms of 3G mobile broadband and here we are with the answers.
Please note that this post is about hardware based (Wingle,WiFi and MiFi) 3G devices and packages only.
Things to Consider before Buying a 3G Mobile Broadband Device:
If you are planning to buy a 3G mobile broadband Dongle, 3G MiFi or any other 3G device, below are things that you should consider before making a purchase:
- Device cost of 3G/4G Device
- Choosing right device type
- Monthly recurring cost, or service charges
- Data limit allowed per month
- QoS and Coverage of the particular service provider in areas where you intend to use the wireless internet.
Device cost, that’s one off payment you have to make to acquire the hardware (Dongle, MiFi, WiFi etc). One can compromise a little on the device cost, i.e. pay more just once if other parameters are in your favor.
There are three types of mobile broadband devices available in the market. Depending on what you need and how you need internet is important before selecting your device type. Keep reading to know more:
- 3G Wingle devices can be plugged into laptop/PC to use internet on a single PC/laptop.
- Internet will be available only when directly plugged into your PC/Laptop
- You can’t share this 3G internet with other devices.
- WiFi Devices:
- These 3G USB devices that can be plugged into PC/Laptop to get internet access on the PC/Laptop
- 3G WiFi devices, when plugged into a source, create WiFi hotspot and hence internet can be shared with up to 10 devices at a time.
- 3G WiFi devices can attached with any USB power source (Charger / TV USB device / Car tape USB input) to create a WiFi hotspot
- MiFi Devices:
- 3G MiFi devices are standalone hardware that runs on battery
- 3G MiFi devices, when switched on, create a WiFi hotspot and up to 10 devices can connect with MiFi to share internet
- 3G MiFi devices run on battery and hence will go offline once battery is fully discharged
Monthly recurring charges are to be considered very carefully. This is a service charge or line rent of 3G devices you have to pay on monthly basis and you must look at your affordability before making a decision.
3G Wireless internet is never unlimited and hence there are data limits for every wireless internet solution. Now depending on how much data are you going to consume is going to be vital decision you have to make before purchasing a 3G data plan.
My advice is to use 3G wireless internet only for important tasks and things that are crucial only. No torrents downloading with 3G wireless internet please as 3G wireless internet isn’t meant for bulk downloading.
However, it may depend on what amount of data limits you may require for your usual internet needs, including emails, size of attachments, browsing time and type and so on to decide a 3G data limit.
Coverage and QoS in Your Area
Lastly and most importantly you must test the quality of service and 3G coverage of a device and the operator (by lending from a FnF maybe) in areas where you plan to use the 3G broadband internet.
You must know that certain operators perform better in one area than others. This can be due to low number of customers from your respective operator in the area or maybe because the cell site (BTS) of this operator is nearer to you as compared to other operators and hence may offer you better 3G speeds and the quality.
So its always safe and better to check the 3G services of an operator before you make a purchase.
Overview of 3G/4G Broadband Internet
We have prepared an infographic to give you an overview of 3G / 4G offerings from various operators. This graphic will tell you the device cost, 3G and 4G data plans and their pricing details.
Have a look below before we go into operator-wise details for mobile broadband internet solutions:
Mobilink 3G Devices and Packages
Mobilink, one of the earliest GSM companies of Pakistan, also provides its subscribers with high speed 3G internet and wireless 3G internet dongles.
These dongles come with packages of 15 to 25 GB of data capacity and run with prepaid services, which enable Mobilink customers to pay as they go.
Telenor 3G Devices and Packages
Telenor, which has the largest number of 3G subscribers in Pakistan, currently, offers its customers two kinds of 3G mobile broadband dongles; 3G Connect and 3G Connect WiFi.
These two 3G devices provide high speed 3G internet to its users with bigger data capacities than usual mobile internet for longer usage.
Warid 4G/LTE Devices and Packages
Boasting the largest number of business subscribers in Pakistan, Warid offers its customers two types of wireless 4G internet devices; Warid Wingle and Warid MiFi.
The internet services provided through these devices are offered in multiple packages, such as Smart, Extra and Ultra, with their respective rates.
Zong 3G /4G Devices and Packages
Another leading telco, Zong is a subsidiary of China Mobile, the largest telecommunication company of China. It provides both 3G and 4G wireless internet devices and services such as Wingles and MiFi devices.
Zong is one of the fastest growing 3G service providers in the country and is also the only telecom company to provide uninterrupted internet over motorways.
- Zong Wireless Internet Packages are same for both 3G and 4G
PTCL EVO / Nitro / Chaarji Packages
The wireless internet services offered by PTCL include various devices such as the EVO, Nitro and Chaarji, which include multiple kinds of USB dongles, wingles and Cloud devices, each with their respective price and package range.
These devices can all be used simultaneously by multiple users and on multiple devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, Smart TV etc. in order to enjoy internet services.