Internet in Pakistan

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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%. The percentage on broad band internet users in Pakistan is now 18.8% which means now more than 35 Million people surf internet.[1]. The percentage of total internet users may be significant higher.


A map showing active and anticipated submarine communications cables servicing Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, and India.
Active and anticipated submarine communications cables servicing Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, and India.


The first dial up E-mail service was introduced by Imran-Net in 1992-93. The first dialup internet service started in Pakistan in 1994,by Brain net, sharing a 128K link established at LUMS by PAKDATACOM through Singnet. Engineer Muneer Ahmed Khan, was the first engineer who installed and commissioned the first ever internet link at LUMS in 1994 and became the first person in Pakistan to experience online internet browsing. The state-owned Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) started offering access via the nationwide local call dialup 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.[11]


Most Internet usage in Pakistan is still in English, however there seems to be a shift towards the Urdu language.[citation needed] Many Urdu based newspapers maintain an Urdu presence on web, however common usage is often done in romanized Urdu.[12]

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 are providing their services in Urdu.


Broadband is offered at speeds that range from 1 Mbit/s to 100 Mbit/s in all major cities. The largest broadband providers are PTCL and Wateen. Smaller DSL providers are Micro Net, NayaTel, Maxcom, Multi Net, Wisecomm, World Call, Cyber Net,Speed.Net, Gerry's Net, fiber2home, Vision Telecom ,Witribe, Brain Net, SkyNet and COMSATS.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15] In August 2010 PTCL upgraded to EV-DO Rev. B (Phase 1). This new service, called Wimax

Additionally, none of the aforementioned services are available in Gilgit-Baltistan. The only available ISP is Special Communication Organisation. however, the services being provided are very poor. The connectivity waxes and wanes. The speeds are extremely slower than the data plans. Gilgit-Baltistan also lacks 3G or 4G services. Wisecomm also launched its ftth & Gpon services in Pakistan in 2010. Connections are available at speeds from 512 kbit/s to 20 Mbit/s.[16]

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.[17] PTCL offers Pakistan fastest WiMAX connection EVO Wingle at 9.3 Mbit/s.[18]


Pakistan e-commerce industry is worth an estimated PKR $25–30 million a year.[19]

Pakistan's first ecommerce company was started in 2001 with the establishment of by Abid Beli and did great effort to develop this industry in Pakistan, He increased the output of this industry from a few thousand rupees to 1.5 million USD estimated, Since then the market has grown steady until 2012 which was an inflexion point in the industry.[20] was 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.[21]

One of the reasons for the slow upstarts in the Ecommerce sector has been the lack of marketing in the field. Despite the growth of digital marketing companies, the annual spending in online marketing is still less than $3 million USD due to the lack of understanding by marketers on how to work with E-businesses.

However, growing internet users and trend towards ecommerce attracted foreign investment in Pakistan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2016, retrieved 31 May 2016
  3. ^ a b 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
  4. ^ [1], Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 1 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Pakistan Country Report", The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, United States, 14 June 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Internet Facts", Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan, October 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Internet hosts", CIA World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 2012, accessed 17 June 2013
  9. ^ Population, The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
  10. ^ Select Formats, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  11. ^ "History of Internet in Pakistan, 1992-2007", Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Urdu on the internet", Ammara Khan, Spider Magazine, reprinted by Dawn News, 29 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Telecom Indicators", Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, 3 June 2011.
  14. ^ "PTCL’s IPTV Service Gets Good Response", PakTribune, 15 August 2008.
  15. ^ "PTCL EVO Now Covers More Than 100 Cities". Winars tech blog. 5 July 2010. 
  16. ^ "Wisecomm Wise Communications System Pvt Ltd". 
  17. ^ " Overview Of WiMAX In Pakistan ", Samia Rehman, ProPakistani, 17 September 2012.
  18. ^ "EVO Wingle 9.3 Mbps Packages". 
  19. ^ Alam, Kazim. "Online shopping shows steady growth". Tribune. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  20. ^ "Pakistan the next frontier for entrepreneurs and investors". TechinAsia. 23 April 2013. 
  21. ^ Helen Coster (20 July 2011). "Into the Fray". Forbes. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 

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