The recent launch of next generation technologies in the Pakistani lucrative telecom market is gaining up speed as the 3G services are now being used by nearly 2.5 million cellular customers in Pakistan so far, as per the figures from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.
This number is grossly close to 3.35 million broadband users that were available in Pakistan before 3G services. If uptake remains the same, the number of broadband subscriptions in Pakistan is soon going to double in just 4-5 months after the auction of 3G and 4G licenses.
It should not be overlooked that it took ISPs nearly 8 years (if not more) to take internet penetration past the 3.35 million mark.
A senior PTA official highlighted that 3G usage has been massive during its first roll-out phase keeping in mind its limited coverage from telcos nationwide. The current user-base of around 2.5 million in a limited time period is beyond the expectations of cellular operators. PTA believes that the proportion of 3G usage to hike exponentially with-in one year or so.
However, PTA officials were doubtful regarding the active 3G users and said that the figure of 2.5 million customers is extracted via a definition as per which a mobile user who possess a paid 3G data activity within last 90 days is termed as an active 3G user.
They also mentioned that this definition of active 3G user might see a variation in the coming future but currently — for a start — any user with one 3G data activity with-in past 90 days should be placed in the category of a 3G user.