Internet in Pakistan

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The Internet in Pakistan has been available since the early 1990s. Pakistan has about 76.38 million internet users, making it the 10th-largest population of Internet users in the world.[1][2] 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%. As of November 2019; the percentage of internet users in Pakistan is 36.18%, which translates into approximately 76 million citizens having access to internet.[3]



The first dial up e-mail service was introduced by Digicom Pakistan (Pvt) Limited in 1992-93. The also first dialup internet service started in Pakistan in 1994, by Digicom Pakistan, sharing a 128K link established at [ Pardesi House R.Y.16 2/1 Old Queen Road, Karachi. Engineer Nasser Khan Ghazi, was the first engineer who installed and commissioned the first-ever internet link at Pardesi House Old Queen Road Karachi 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.[15]


Most Internet usage in Pakistan is still in English. Many Urdu based newspapers maintain an Urdu presence on the web, however, common usage is often done in romanized Urdu.[16]


Pakistan Government definition of Broadband is contrary to the definition of Broadband in the industrialized world. For example, Pakistan defines broadband as always on 128 kbps, while US FCC defines broadband as 20 Mbps. Or a difference in speed of 156.

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, Wateen, Cybernet(Storm fiber) and Nayatel.[17]

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.[18]

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.[19]

Nayatel is offering multiple value-added services as well other than the basic tagline of voice, video, and data. The VAS includes Surveillance Solutions, IT solutions, Web hostings, Gaming Solutions, IPTV, Data Security and VOD.[20]

Wateen Telecom launched its WiMAX services in Pakistan in 2007. Connections are available at speeds from 256 kbit/s to 9.8 Mbit/s.[21] PTCL offers Pakistan fastest WiMAX connection EVO Wingle at 9.3 Mbit/s.[22] PTA issued the License to Telenor, Zong, Ufone, Jazz to launch 3G and 4G services in form of wireless broadband. In 2016, Wi-tribe signed a contract with Huawei to Launch 4.5G LTE Advanced Internet in Pakistan. This technology Advancement is not only new in Pakistan but in South Asia & Middle East too. The first stage has been completed in Lahore and Karachi, which is providing the most Advanced Generation of Internet speeds .i.e 4.5 G to users.

On 22 August 2019, Pakistan became the first South Asian country to test 5G services. The successful tests were conducted by Pakistani telecom company Zong.[23][24][25]


Pakistan e-commerce industry is worth an estimated PKR $25–30 million a year.[26]

Pakistan's first e-commerce company was started in 2001 with the establishment of by Abid Beli. Since then the market has grown steadily until 2012, which was an inflection point in the industry.[27]

Internet child pornography[edit]

In 2019 Pakistan's Human Rights Minister, Shirin Mazari has said that Pakistan was ranked as the country with the largest numbers of child pornography viewers.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Telecom Indicators | PTA".
  2. ^ "Digital 2020: Pakistan". DataReportal – Global Digital Insights.
  3. ^ a b c d
  4. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2016, Retrieved 31 May 2016
  5. ^ a b Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012" Archived 29 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, Retrieved 26 June 2013
  6. ^ [1], Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 1 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Pakistan Country Report", The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, United States, 14 June 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "Internet Facts", Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan, October 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  10. ^ "Internet hosts", CIA World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 2012, accessed 17 June 2013
  11. ^ Population, The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
  12. ^ Select Formats Archived 13 May 2009 at, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  13. ^ "Transworld Launches Operations in Karachi, Lahore and Islamanad".
  14. ^ [2] Archived 14 July 2019 at the Wayback Machine FTTH Internet Providers in Pakistan.
  15. ^ "History of the Internet in Pakistan, 1992-2007", Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  16. ^ "Urdu on the internet", Ammara Khan, Spider Magazine, reprinted by Dawn News, 29 August 2012.
  17. ^ "Telecom Indicators", Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, 3 June 2011.
  18. ^ "PTCL’s IPTV Service Gets Good Response", PakTribune, 15 August 2008.
  19. ^ "PTCL EVO Now Covers More Than 100 Cities". Winars tech blog. 5 July 2010.
  20. ^ "FTTH Internet Providers in Pakistan" Archived 14 July 2019 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ " Overview Of WiMAX In Pakistan ", Samia Rehman, ProPakistani, 17 September 2012.
  22. ^ "EVO Wingle 9.3 Mbps Packages". Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  23. ^ "Pakistan becomes first South Asian country to test 5G services". 22 August 2019.
  24. ^ "Zong successfully test 5G in Pakistan". Business Recorder. 22 August 2019.
  25. ^ "'Pakistan on short list of 5G-ready countries with Zong's successful trial'". Dawn. 22 August 2019.
  26. ^ Alam, Kazim. "Online shopping shows steady growth". Tribune. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  27. ^ "Pakistan the next frontier for entrepreneurs and investors". TechinAsia. 23 April 2013.
  28. ^ Shahab-ud-Din, Makhdoom (15 July 2019). "Child Pornography in Pakistan: Reality or myth?". Daily Times. Retrieved 16 April 2020.

External links[edit]