KARACHI: The number of broadband subscriptions in the country reached almost 25 million at the end of November 2015 as cellular service providers sold over one and a half million high-speed mobile internet connections in the month.
The number of mobile broadband connections in the country increased to 24.8 million at the end of November 2015 – the latest month for which data is available – up 7% compared to 23.2 million in the previous month, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
Technologies, such as DSL, EvDo, WiMax and fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) remained stagnant in the month as the entire growth was driven by users joining the third-generation (3G) and 4G networks.
The number of 3G and 4G users reached 21.7 million in the month under review, constituting 87.5% of the country’s total broadband subscriber base, the data shows. This was an increase of 8.5% over 20 million in the preceding month.
The broadband penetration or internet density – the number of internet connections divided by the country’s population size (200 million) – stood at 12.4% at the end of November. However, the total number of internet users may be much higher given multiple users access internet through mobile WiFi devices sold by service providers.
The cellular mobile operators’ (CMOs) overall user base (voice and data users combined) increased by 1.3% to stand at 124.2 million subscribers at the end of November.
Mobilink stood on top with 35.7 million subscriptions at the end of the review period followed by Telenor Pakistan, which finished second with 34.2 million users.
China Mobile Pakistan (Zong), Ufone and Warid were third, fourth and fifth operators with 24 million, 19.7 million and 10.6 million users respectively.
Also leading the mobile broadband category, Mobilink boasted over 6.8 million 3G users at the end of November followed by Telenor that had 6 million 3G users.
Zong remained third in the mobile broadband category increasing its 3G users to 4.4 million and its 4G subscriptions passed 250,000 users.
Ufone’s 3G user base improved to 4 million while Warid boasted 192,917 users on its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network at the end of November.