Owing to supportive government policies, effective competition among telecom operators and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s (PTA) commitment to introduce and utilize innovative technologies, broadband subscriptions in Pakistan have reached a historic 100 million mark.
In 2012, there were less than 2 million subscriptions but after the introduction of 3G services, the figure jumped to 16 million in 2014 and a grand 100 million in 2021. Today 87% of the country population has access to internet/broadband services at one of the lowest rates in the region.
Moreover, broadband is provided over 3G/4G networks with an average download speed of 17.7 Mbps and upload speed of 11.3 Mbps (mobile) which is above the speed levels in other regional countries. Mobile data prices declined to only 0.70% of the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita which is well below the UN Broadband Commission’s recommendation of less than 2%.
All four national Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs), SCO and fixed line broadband operators including PTCL collectively have broadband subscriptions of over 100 million now. It has become possible due to growing usage of data services in every segment of national economy, popularity among users and introduction of new and innovative services by operators.
Pakistan telecom sector has achieved many milestones previously also such as reaching 100 million mobile subscriptions in 2010, introduction of first ever biometrically verified SIMs across the country in 2009 and implementation of the world’s first open-source Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) in 2019.
PTA lauds the users and the service providers for making us proud to achieve this land mark. We will be formally celebrating the occasion soon with all the stakeholders and national / international telecommunity.