Internet in Pakistan
The Internet in Pakistan has been available since the early 1990s. Information and communications technology (ICT) is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. In 2001 just 1.3% of the population used the Internet. By 2006 this figure had grown to 6.5% and in 2012 to 10.0%.
- Internet users: 19.0 million users, 27th in the world; 10.0% of the population, 173rd in the world (2012).
- Fixed broadband: 979,999 subscribers, 57th in the world; 0.5% of the population, 150th in the world (2012).
- Mobile broadband: 618,446 subscriptions, 87th in the world; 0.3% of the population, 140th in the world (2012).
- Domains registered under the .pk domain: ~30,000 (2012).
- IPv4: 5.2 million addresses allocated, 0.1% of the world total, 27.2 addresses per 1000 people (2012).
- Undersea telecommunications cables: Four, SMW3, SMW4, and IMEWE operated by PTCL and TWA-1 operated by Transworld Associates (2012).
The first dial up E-mail service was introduced by Imran-Net in 1992-93. The state-owned Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) started offering access via the nationwide local call network in 1995. The country has been pursuing an aggressive IT policy, aimed at boosting Pakistan’s drive for economic modernization and creating an exportable software industry. In 2001 Micronet Broadband launched the first DSL service. Pakistan had almost 128 ISPs in 2007, with customers concentrated in the areas of Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. PTCL offers free dial-up Internet service to all its landline subscribers. In 2006 NayaTel began to offer Fiber to the User (FTTU) triple-services in the capital city of Islamabad. Broadband access is available in major cities, wireless broadband Internet has been introduced by the Wireless local loop (WLL) networks in many major cities, and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) networks are being deployed. Most Pakistani companies, educational institutes, and government departments maintain web sites, which has further increased the demand for Internet access.
Most Internet usage in Pakistan is still in English, however there seems to be a shift towards the Urdu language. Many Urdu based newspapers maintain an Urdu presence on web, however common usage is often done in romanized Urdu.
There is an influx of players targeting the growing Urdu speaking Internet population by providing services in Urdu in Pakistan. The biggest switch can be seen in the fact that Google and Facebook are now operating in Urdu. Other sites such as classifieds site Dekho.com.pk and Klondajak and community based site Hamariweb are providing their services in Urdu.
Broadband is offered at speeds that range from 1 Mbit/s to 50 Mbit/s in all major cities. The largest broadband providers are PTCL and Wateen. Smaller DSL providers are Micro Net, NayaTel, Maxcom, Multi Net, World Call, Cyber Net,Speed.Net, Gerry's Net, fiber2home, Witribe, Brain Net, SkyNet and COMSATS.
In August 2007+, PTCL launched its Smart TV service, an IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) service. IPTV along with high-speed broadband internet and voice telephony is available on the subscribers existing telephone lines at the same time on one bill. This and similar offerings continue to blur the boundaries between telephones, the Internet, and traditional television and radio broadcasting.
PTCL and World Call provide wireless broadband using the Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) Rev. A standard, with speeds of up to 3.1 Mbit/s. PTCL provides its service under the brand name EVO which is available in more than 100 cities. In August 2010 PTCL upgraded to EV-DO Rev. B (Phase 1). This new service, called EVO Nitro, offers speeds of up to 9.3 Mbit/s. PTCL broadband is truly leading the broadband revolution in the country and is changing the way people communicate and share information. In a short span of only 5 years PTCL DSL broadband service has expanded from 3 cities to over 1100 cities. This massive growth has been due to unmatchable speeds unlimited downloads and unbeatable options that PTCL Broadband provides. With basic speeds ranging from 256 kbit/s, 1 Mbit/s, 2Mbit/s, 4 Mbit/s & 8 Mbit/s to VDSL ultra high speeds of 10 Mbit/s, 20 Mbit/s and 50 Mbit/s Broadband offers speeds further up to 100 Mbit/s on Fibre to the home broadband service. PTCL broadband therefore ensures provision of Broadband to every household and business of Pakistan.
The wireless broadband network has transformed the concept of broadband usage- offering freedom of mobility. From a dongle offering speeds up to 3.1 Mbit/s to blazing speeds of 9.3 Mbit/s on 3G EVO nitro; to EVO cloud a personal mobile hotspot connecting 5 devices at a time, to Pakistan’s first 3G enabled Tablet EVO TAB; to EVODROID a 3G enabled Smartphone; the wireless network just like its predecessor has many feathers to its cap Within a span of few years the wireless network expanded to more than 200 cities, the largest in the country.
Wateen Telecom launched its WiMAX services in Pakistan in 2007. Connections are available at speeds from 256 kbit/s to 9.8 Mbit/s. Wi-Tribe and Mobilink are also offering WiMAX, as is Augere under the brand name Qubee.
An increasing number of Pakistani users are adopting Internet social networking. Facebook is the largest social network in Pakistan with an estimated 10.6 million users in mid-2013. This is up from 6 million users in early 2012 when the country had the 26th largest Facebook population.
Pakistan ecommerce industry is worth an estimated PKR 4.5 billion a year  with the majority of transactions taking place through Cash on Delivery. The biggest players in the ecommerce market today are believed to be HomeShopping and Kaymu  who are reportedly doing 1,000 orders a day.
Pakistan's first ecommerce company was started in 2001 with the establishment of Beliscity.com by Abid Beli and did great effort to develop this industry in Pakistan, since then the market has grown steady until 2012 which was an inflexion point in the industry. Pakistan’s greatest internet success story, Rozee.pk. Founded in 2007 by Monis Rahman as an add-on to his main business, Rozee has grown to become Pakistan’s premier portal for jobs.
A list of current Pakistan startups can be found on TechPakistan
List of Internet service providers
Licensed Internet service providers in Pakistan:
- Pakistan Educational Research Network
- Information technology in Pakistan
- Internet censorship in Pakistan
- Telecommunications in Pakistan
- Universal Service Fund Pakistan
- "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
- Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012", Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
- "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
- "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
- "Pakistan Country Report", The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, United States, 14 June 2011.
- "Internet Facts", Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan, 26 April 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "Internet hosts", CIA World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 2012, accessed 17 June 2013
- Population, The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
- Select Formats, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
- "History of Internet in Pakistan, 1992-2007", Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "Urdu on the internet", Ammara Khan, Spider Magazine, reprinted by Dawn News, 29 August 2012.
- "The Buzz: Dekho now in Urdu", Aurora Magazine, Dawn Media Group, 24 July 2012.
- "Telecom Indicators", Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, 3 June 2011.
- "PTCL’s IPTV Service Gets Good Response", PakTribune, 15 August 2008.
- "PTCL EVO Now Covers More Than 100 Cities". Winars tech blog. 5 July 2010.
- " Overview Of WiMAX In Pakistan ", Samia Rehman, ProPakistani, 17 September 2012.
- "Social, Digital and Mobile in Pakistan", Simon Kemp, Slide 23, We Are Social Ltd. (London), 16 January 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- Saqib Nasir (25 September 2013). "Pakistan crosses 10 million Facebook users". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "Over 6 million Pakistanis on Facebook!", The Express Tribune, 2 February 2012.
- "Stats from #GDayX")
- (http://www.techjuice.pk/lunch-shayan-tahir-founder-homeshopping-pk/ "Lunch with Shayan Tahir, Founder of Homeshopping.pk")
- (http://tribune.com.pk/story/694838/expansion-e-commerce-future-bright-in-pakistan/ "Ecommerce Future Bright in Pakistan)
- "Pakistan the next frontier for entrepreneurs and investors". TechinAsia. 23 April 2013.
- Helen Coster (20 July 2011). "Into the Fray". Forbes. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "ISP (Internet Service Provider) List of Pakistan",[dead link] PakTimes.Com. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan
- Pakistan Broadband, Pakistan Broadband Forum.
- Pakistan Telecommunication Coverage Footprint (maps), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.
- PKNIC, administrator of the .PK domain name space.