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3G EVDO Wireless Broadband: Gaining rapid popularity among subscribers in Pakistan

By N. Kiyani

Probably the most enthralling addition in the world telecommunications has been the “No wires – No limits“ facility brought in by the wireless technologies. Reaching new heights of speed coupled with an added supplement of mobility, wireless broadband services today are gaining more and more popularity among subscribers.
Wireless broadband networks bring accumulated advantage for service providers in terms of offering an excellent alternative to outreach the market segments not viable for deploying expensive fixed infrastructure thus allowing CAPEX reduction for the operators. Network rollout experts rate wireless deployment cost between one-eighth and one-quarter the cost for DSL employment per subscriber. Moreover, wireless broadband networks are more easily scalable as compared to fixed broadband network. In emerging markets even as we saw in developed markets, wireless broadband technologies such as HSPA and EvDO (Evolution-Data Optimized) are now in direct competition with fixed broadband technologies (xDSL, HFC).
Pakistan stands among such examples where wireless broadband is gaining rapid popularity among the subscribers as compared to fixed broadband. It is predicted that wireless broadband technologies will surpass the fixed broadband technologies in terms of subscription very soon.
Wireless broadband made its entry in Pakistan in December 2007, however initially the uptake was slow, however with the introduction of EVDO in the country by WorldCall in December 2008 followed by PTCL accelerated the pace of wireless broadband subscribers in the country. PTCL – the incumbent operator which earlier launched EVDO-Rev A in 2009. became the first country in the world to experience EVDO’s Rev B 3G technology that offers maximum speeds of 9.3 Mbit/s.
In Pakistan over the span of last three years wireless broadband services in Pakistan have shown impressive escalation in terms of subscriptions. The EVDO subscriber’s growth has proven to be more popular than any other Technology. During the first year, EvDO recorded 48,481subscribers (December 2009), by the end of second year a sum of 210,009 subscribers (December 2010) while the latest figure of EvDO subscribers in Pakistan by May 2011 is 294,161.
The sum of 691,316 wireless broadband subscribers in the country by May 2011 with a total broadband subscription of 1,396,608. One of the most compelling reasons behind this growing popularity is the availability of smart plug n play USB dongles which make it more convenient to the user while experiencing fast broadband service over their laptops machines. Importantly, embedded 3G Devices such as the EVDO-Rev A enabled Android Tablet launched recently by PTCL at a very economical price will become more popular in the day to come.
This aspiring popularity of wireless broadband technologies in Pakistan certainly pose a bright aspect for introduction of 3G mobile broadband services in future where subscribers showing a proven mindset of consuming high speed Internet services in a seamless mode.

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