WiMax internet users decreases, EvDo, DSL users increases
Karachi (DailyTimes/Tuesday, January 15, 2013) – WiMax wireless Internet users have been on the decline due to immense competition of WiMax operators with EvDo and DSL service providers on price, service quality and coverage area.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) statistics stated that Internet subscribers using Wimax technology have declined to 591,860 from 597,618, showing a modest decline of 5,938 connections in the month of September as compared with August. This was the first time the Wimax sector saw contraction in subscribers’ growth since its launch in the country.
On the other hand, subscribers using EvDO and DSL grew by 29,104 and 7,829 in September versus August totalling the overall base to 666,886 and 904,154, respectively.
These two technology providers mainly Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and WorldCall attracted significant number in the first quarter ending in September. The overall connections of Internet have increased to 108,684 in the first quarter of the financial year 2012-13 in which EvDO technology holds lion’s share of 82,427 connections whereas DSL connections surged to 24,083.
The Internet users having Wimax services increased to 1,793 in the July to September 2012, PTA data said.
The WiMax sector witnessed a stagnant growth in the subsequent months of September due to immense competition among the operators and against different technologies such as Direct Subscriber Line (DSL), EvDO and Fibre to the Home, telecom analysts said. The WiMax operator has imposed monthly Rs 50 additional charges on their services in June that caused them less competitive against the operators providing Internet through DSL and EvDO, they said.
PTCL is ruling the Internet market with wide area of service coverage in multiple cities compared with WiMax operators. Its DSL service is available in 1,800 cities and EvDo in 250 cities.
The operator has introduced high speed Internet with different packages to attract handsome number of subscribers in domestic and commercial sectors, telecom analysts said. PTCL has brought up bundle package for EvDo with new cutting-edge gadgets besides it doubled the 1Mbps speed of its connection to 2Mpbs at the same cost that spelled into widening of subscribers base.
On the other hand, the WiMax operators are limited to few cities among cutting-throat competition within the sector and service quality issue in areas of low coverage.
WiMax President Declan Byrne, in a recent visit to Pakistan pointed out the challenges being faced by operators of the technology, saying the allocation of spectrum for WiMax in Pakistan has capped the performance, productivity and subscribers growth of operators.
He said that WiMax operators should be given a level-playing field like all broadband technologies for expected expansion and investment in the sector.
The Internet users in the country have been estimated to cross 10 million in the country using different services, reported Internet Services Providers Association of Pakistan. The number of broadband Internet users is nearly 6.0 million using limited connections through multiple Wi-Fi enabled devices including mobile phones, laptop and tablets.