Pakistan gets 50 million broadband users in four years

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KARACHI: Pakistan-based cellular mobile operators (CMOs) have added 50 million mobile broadband subscribers to their networks in four years since April 23, 2014, when the country embraced next-generation mobile technologies 3G and 4G.

According to statistics released by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the country’s mobile broadband user base surpassed 53 million at the end of March 2018, up more than 1600 percent compared to little over 3 million before the launch of 3G and 4G services in April 2014.

On overall basis (including GSMA or 2G users), the number of subscribers peaked to 149 million at the end of last month, an addition of 1.5 million to the previous month’s tally of 147.5 million, taking cellular penetration to almost 74 percent.

In terms of the new addition in the mobile broadband category, Zong sold about 800,000 new (3G and 4G) connections followed by Jazz’s 700,000 (approx.) and Telenor’s 350,000. Ufone was able to add 150,000 new 3G users to its network – meanwhile, Ufone does not have a 4G license.

In terms of overall market share, Jazz remained the leader with 55 million subscriptions last month followed by Telenor Pakistan that had 42.9 million users. Zong and Ufone had 31 million and 19.8 million subscribers respectively.

Jazz also dominated the mobile broadband segment with 18.1 million users followed by Zong’s 15.5 million and Telenor’s 13.3 million broadband users. Ufone’s subscriber base was 6 million at the end of March 2018.