I was wondering how Pakistan ranks against the world in terms of average internet speed its users have access to. So I did some research online and discovered some amazing facts. So here, I am going to share all of this with you. First we will see the average up, down and ping speeds Pakistani users have access to on different available mediums and than will compare that with rest of world, specially our neighbours.
Pakistan’s average internet speeds and global rank
So there are two main mediums of internet we need to compare here. First one is the fixed broadband, which includes DSL connections over phone line, fiber to home connections and any other fixed cable internet connections. Second type of internet is mobile broadband these are type of connections you can use on the go. This includes 3G and 4G networks over your mobile phones or other take anywhere wireless broadband devices, mostly offered by same mobile operators but may also include some data only services.
So following are latest average upload and download speeds along with global rank and ping response speed based on the sep 2022 stats shared by speedtest.net, the world’s biggest and most authentic speed test network.
|Pakistan’s Global Rank
While you are looking on the average download and upload speeds which are available to Pakistani users, please also look at following global averages.
So from the data above. one thing is very evident that, Pakistan is very much lower in internet speed rankings when compared with rest of the world. However one upside is, at least we are at a respectable level when it comes to the mobile broadband, specially the average upload speed is nearly as much as the world average. Download is half of the world’s average but better than our close neighbours, specially India.
However fixed broadband is a totally different story for Pakistan, when it comes to average upload and download speeds. World’s users’ average internet download speed are seven times higher than what is available to Pakistanis, similarly the upload speeds available to global internet users are more than three and half times higher than what is available to Pakistani internet users, global average being 33.17 Mbps and Pakistani average being just 9.03.
There are many new fiber optic providers in Pakistan, which provide very good internet speeds with stable connections at very affordable rates but their coverage areas are very limited. Each one of them is available only in few cities and even in the cities they cover, they are only able cover limited areas.
On the contrary Pakistan’s semi government landline phone provider Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) which was once a fully government organization, have advantage of its phone lines covering humongous area as compared to any other kind of fixed network. Same is the reason, they have biggest share in fixed broadband market of Pakistan with their DSL connections over the existing phone lines. They however have also started to offer the Fiber to Home internet as well but coverage of PTCL fiber to home connections is very limited.
However, with PTCL having biggest market share holder in fixed broadband, is actually making Pakistan look bad when it comes to internet speeds. In lots of areas, PTCL infrastructure is very old and ill maintained. So despite PTCL claiming to offer DSL connection upto 100 Mbps, the reality is, in most areas PTCL landlines hardly support 8 to 15 mbps connections. That too, only if you are lucky enough to have a fiber optic line coming to PTCL’s Distribution Panel (DP) box near your house or location. When it comes to upload speed, things are even worse, lots of non upgraded areas are still running on ADSL technology, which means PTCL is only offering only 1 Mbps upload no matter how high you go on download side of things. In some upgraded areas however, you are able to get VDSL, means download speed will be half of upload speed. But I am not lucky enough to have that yet. I had downgraded from 15 Mbps download speed to lower speed by PTCL to make the internet connection stable. So such low quality infrastructure pulls down the average internet speeds of country despite the availability of high speed fiber optic options like NayaTel, Storm Fiber and more.
Countries with world’s highest internet speeds
According to latest data of Sep 2022, provided by speedtest.net, following five countries have fastest average internet speeds when it comes to mobile broadband.
|United Arab Emirates
One thing to consider is, the all these average speeds are based on the users’ data who used speedtest.net network to test their internet speed. So the use set does not include all users of any country but it mimic the true average, as dataset and number of participating users are humangous.
When it comes to fixed broadband, following countries are on top of list according to the data of last month.
What Pakistan needs to improve its internet speed rank
When it comes to adopting the next generation technology, specially in mobile sector, Pakistan have in past proved that they can adopt next generation technology faster than others. Way back, when it was time to move from analog mobile networks, AMPS to GSM, Pakistan was even quicker the united states along with countries. But later when it came to adopting 3G and 4G mobile technology, Pakistan lagged behind, not due to there was no demand, also not due to network operators not willing to upgrade, but only due the the delays from government and regulator’s side in process of auction and issuance of 3G and 4G licences to mobile operators. Now again with the world moving to fifth generation of mobile technology, the Pakistani government, the regulator which is Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) and mobile operators, all will have to play their role for quick and smooth transition to 5G networks. Meanwhile, companies can also work on improving coverage of existing 4G networks in order to cover more areas and provide reliable speeds.
For improving Fixed Broadband speeds, even more drastic measures will be required to be done. Above all the regulator, PTA, will have to improve its checks and balances on ISPs. Specially, force companies like PTCL to improve its most outdated infrastructure as first priority and than later on move on to new technologies like fiber to home. Similarly, force the other fiber companies to fully cover cities instead of only covering the areas with the most prospective subscribers first and leaving out the areas apparently having less subscription base.
Also for fixed broadband service providers, PTA must also set minimum limits to Download and Upload speeds which can be provided and any speeds below those minimum speeds will not be acceptable. Specially, in case of upload, if someone have 15 Mbps connection, giving them 1 Mbps is utterly unfair in today’s day and age, so authorities should take action against companies following such practices.