In this day and age, when internet has become an indispensable need for any ordinary human activity, people living in rural areas of Pakistan are still struggling to access internet. However, a recent report by the Global System Mobile Association (GSMA) estimated that almost 90% of the population of the country will have 3G network access while 80% of the population will have access to 4G services by 2020.
Telecom companies in the country have been making many efforts to offer improved services to the users, following the significant surge in competition in the telecom industry. It is worth mentioning that 3G coverage in the country has reached 65 % by the end of 2015, while it witnessed further boost and stretched to 75% of the country’s population by mid of last fiscal year.
BizUpdates recently reported that the number of 3G and 4G users in the country surged to 37.5 million by the end of December 2016.
The figures mentioned above are sufficient enough to present a bright picture of 3G/4G services in the country. Also, considering the fact that only two operators in the country are offering 4G services, which reached 18% of the population already by mid-2016, the telecom industry is finally experiencing an upward trend.
Adding to that, with Mobilink’s acquisition of Warid and Telenor beginning 4G rollout in August 2016, it is highly likely that 4G coverage will increase up to 80% of the population by 2020.
Moreover, as per the report recently released by GSMA, Pakistan has an emerging mobile industry. To support the claim, it is pertinent to note that there are approximately 90 million unique subscriber in Pakistan, which accounts for 47% of the population. Nevertheless, internet connectivity, affordability and consumer readiness of the country ranks low relative to the neighboring countries. Many analysts believe that big chunk of population in the country cannot afford or do not know how to use devices that run mobile broadband.
In any case, GSMA believes that over the next three years, mobile broadband subscribers in the country will grow to just half of the country’s population. We believe that this is a great opportunity for regulatory bodies, institutions, and mobile operators to work together to achieve this milestone.