Mo­bile broadband changes dy­nam­ics with rapid growth

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

ISLAMABAD— The ex­plo­sive growth of mo­bile broadband, such as third- gen­er­a­tion ( 3G) and 4G or Long Term Evo­lu­tion ( LTE) tech­nolo­gies, has changed dy­nam­ics as over­all broadband con­nec­tions crossed 30 mil­lion mark by March this year.

Al­most non- ex­is­tent two years ago, the high- speed mo­bile in­ter­net now ac­counts for 89 per cent of the broadband mar­ket.

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics by Pak­istan Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion Author­ity ( PTA), the tele­com sec­tor’s reg­u­la­tory body, the coun­try’s broadband seg­ment has been through a ma­jor change over the past year, not­ing how ex­ist­ing fixed line and other wire­less tech­nolo­gies proved to be no match for mo­bile broadband. Mo­bile broadband con­nec­tions surged to around 28 mil­lion.

Broadband con­nec­tiv­ity his­tor­i­cally re­mained de­pen­dent on the fixed line so­lu­tions and lim­ited to the ge­o­graph­i­cal bound­aries that were deemed prof­itable by the op­er­a­tors. How­ever, a true revo­lu­tion be­gan with the in­tro­duc­tion of wire­less in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity on hand- held de­vices, par­tic­u­larly 3G, 4G/ LTE, in the last decade or so, the PTA says of the global trend.

At present, mo­bile broadband is the most dy­namic mar­ket seg­ment with a global pen­e­tra­tion of 47 % in 2015, a value that in­creased 12 times since 2007, ac­cord­ing to the International Tele­com Union. When it comes to broadband evo­lu­tion in Pak­istan, the trend is no dif­fer­ent.

The coun­try’s broadband sec­tor re­mained the sole do­main of the Pak­istan Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion Com­pany Lim­ited ( PTCL), which en­joyed 80 % share in the seg­ment at the end of last year.

The cur­rent broadband sub­scriber share presents a clear view of the change in the dy­nam­ics over the past year and has be­come very com­pet­i­tive now.

A break­down of sta­tis­tics shows Mo­bilink is lead­ing the mar­ket with 8.4 mil­lion 3G sub­scribers fol­lowed by Te­lenor with 7.7 mil­lion 3G sub­scribers. China Mo­bile ( Zong) has around 5.7 mil­lion 3G sub­scribers and 0.535 mil­lion 4G LTE sub­scribers, Ufone has 5.1 mil­lion 3G con­nec­tions and Warid has 0.283 mil­lion 4G sub­scribers.

The sta­tis­tics clearly in­di­cate the shift in broadband mar­ket from fixed line and WiMAX to mo­bile in­ter­net. The other mode of broadband are DSL, HFC, Wimax, FTTH and EvDO.— APP

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