News Source: Express Tribune
Writer: Usman Hanif
Despite the challenges Pakistan faces in promoting information technology and bringing more and more people online, international internet speed gauging platform Ookla has said that Pakistan’s 4G mobile broadband is faster than its neighbour India’s.
Pakistan is ranked 96th in the world in download speed on mobile broadband based on the June Speed-test Global Index, with average speed of 14.03 megabits per second (Mbps). It is better than that in India which stands at 109th place with average speed of 9.12 Mbps, according to speedtest.net of Ookla – a global leader in fixed broadband and mobile network testing applications, data and analysis.
According to the website, the global average of mobile internet download speed is estimated at 23.54 Mbps.
Indian operators are focusing on spreading 4G outreach than injecting more speed into the already present 4G service, according to OpenSignal that specialises in wireless coverage mapping.
Smartphone usage is on the rise in India with 358 million mobile internet users and more users are coming online, resulting in slower mobile internet speeds, says a report in the Indian publication The Economic Times.
Because of the vast area, India has higher latency which is one of the reasons consumers are receiving slower internet.
Latency is the duration taken by a data packet to move between the user’s device and internet server. The higher the latency, the slower the user’s internet experience.
Pakistan’s 3G/4G subscribers stand at 56 million with 75% teledensity, meaning 25% population has not yet been covered, particularly in Balochistan. In this province, 46% of population has no access to either mobile, wireless or fixed line network.
The Universal Service Fund (USF), which collects funds from all cellphone service providers in an attempt to expand telecom infrastructure, has disbursed grants worth Rs50 billion to mobile operators for projects in different telecom regions.
Its five out of six fibre optic projects are for Balochistan which is likely to get better facilities in future.
However, in fixed internet, India is better than Pakistan as it is ranked 62nd with average internet speed of 23.27 Mbps while Pakistan stands at 122nd place with internet speed of 7.55 Mbps.
Pakistan also lags behind India in the Inclusive Internet Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) mainly due to unavailability of content in local languages.