Mobile broadband flourishing with each passing year

ISLAMABAD: Mobile Broadband subscribers in the country are expected to reach 79 million by 2025 amid a healthy growth registered during each passing year.

The current number of mobile broadband subscribers in the country is around 23.5 million. Overall total number of broadband subscribers by technology is around 26.3 million including DSL, HFC, Wimax, FTTH, EvDO and mobile broadband.

The mobile and related market in the country is estimated to be worth $ 17 billion per year by 2025, up from the current $ 4 billion per year.

The government, in its Vision 2025 has said key service providers would be encouraged to offer extended Over The Top (OTT) services such as Viber, Skype and work with third party digital distributors and vice versa to offer consumers value through product-centric services in a collaborative framework.

The collaborative framework would be built around regulatory and technical support systems including availability of additional spectrum, spectrum harmonization, spectrum and infrastructure sharing and other regulatory interventions and facilitation wherever applicable and required.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) envisions affordable and broad-based communications access to consumers irrespective of their location in the country.

The regulator has successfully awarded the spectrum in 2100MHzand 1800MHz bands in April 2014 for 3G and 4G cellular mobile services and is gearing itself to stay on top of the developments in the 5th Generation Mobile Services Technology so that it may be launched in Pakistan in a timely manner. Broadband subscriptions in the country also depicted a reasonable growth last year.

The data showed that Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has remained a major player in providing broadband services and has been successful in getting major share of broadband market by providing multitude of services and technologies under its umbrella.

Ranging from ownership of international optic-fiber links to availability of both fixed (DSL) and wireless (EvDO) broadband services, PTCL has maintained a hold on almost every facet of the broadband market.   Currently, PTCL has more than 80 per cent share of the subscriber base.

The Vision 2025 also said the concept of smart cities and towns with extensive use of ICT will improve quality of life of citizens through connected transport, smart energy, contactless payments, mobile government and more.

In the next decade, access to affordable broadband is becoming as crucial to socio-economic development.