Irfan Khan
Irfan Khan

ISLAMABAD: Cellular subscriptions in Pakistan crossed the 183 million mark by the end of March 2021 from 178.97m in January, figures shared by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Saturday showed.

Mainly owing to pressures from the education sector in the wake of Covid-19 lockdowns, authorities have been expanding internet infrastructure in the country for more than a year. Broadband penetration reached 46.4 per cent of the country by the end of March 2021 compared to 44.6pc in January earlier this year.

While 4G users grew from 66m in January to 74m in March, broadband subscriptions — including 98m 3G and 4G subscribers — topped 101m in the same period.

The PTA figures show that total internet subscribers in the country have crossed the 100m mark mainly owing to lockdowns and mobility restrictions against 95.4m in January 2021. However, as the restrictions were eased in March, mobile data usage declined in the month compared to January. The mobile data usage in March was 545m Gigabytes (GB) compared to 594m GB consumed in January this year.

Internet users reached 100m owing to lockdowns

The PTA data showed that Jazz continues to dominate the cellular market with 37.80pc of total subscriber base, followed by Telenor Pakistan with 26.71pc, Zong 21.90pc, Ufone 12.81pc and SCO 0.77pc.

In terms of 4G market share, Jazz leads the segment with 28.86m 4G subscribers, followed by Zong 22.49m, Telenor Pakistan 16.10m, Ufone 6m and SCO 0.7m.

Out of the 8m new 4G subscribers added in this quarter, Jazz contributed significantly with 46pc net additions, followed by Telenor Pakistan 23pc, Zong 22pc, Ufone 6pc and SCO 1.9pc.

At the same time 2,800 complaints were lodged against mobile companies. PTA claims that all the issues were resolved showing redressal of 100pc.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2021

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