The Internet in Pakistan has been available since the early 1990s. 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%. The percentage on broad band internet users in Pakistan is now 18.8% which means now more than 32 Million people surf internet.
- Internet users: 45,967,145 broadband users, 14th in the world; 19.0% of the population, 20th in the world (2012).
- Fixed broadband: 3,100,210 subscribers, 28th in the world; 1.7% of the population, 128th in the world (2012).
- Mobile broadband: 31,779,549 subscriptions as of August 27, 2016, 10th in the world; 16% of the population, 13th in the world (2012).
- Top level domain: .pk
- Domains registered under the .pk domain: ~30,000 (2012).
- Internet hosts: 365,813 hosts, 57th in the world (2012).
- IPv4: 5.2 million addresses allocated, 0.1% of the world total, 27.2 addresses per 1000 people (2012).
- International bandwidth: ~78 Tbit/s combined from PTCL and TWA (2017).
- Undersea telecommunications cables: Six, SEA-ME-WE-3, SEA-ME-WE-4, IMEWE and AAE-1 operated by PTCL and TWA-1 and SEA-ME-WE 5 operated by Transworld Associates (2012).
- Operational ISPs: ~50 (2012).
- ISPs providing DSL services: Ten (2012).
- ISPs providing broadband cable services: Five (2012).
- ISPs providing Fiber to the Home (FTTH) services: NayaTel (2012), Transworld Home (2015).
- Domestic fiber backbones: PTCL, Wateen, Mobilink, and Multinet (2012).
The first dial up e-mail service was introduced by Imran-Net in 1992-93. The first dialup internet service started in Pakistan in 1994, by Brain net, sharing a 128K link established at LUMS by PAKDATACOM through Singnet. Engineer Muneer Ahmed Khan, was the first engineer who installed and commissioned the first ever internet link at LUMS 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.
Most Internet usage in Pakistan is still in English. Many Urdu based newspapers maintain an Urdu presence on web, how ever common usage is often done in romanized Urdu.
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 and wi-tribe. Smaller DSL providers are Micro Net, NayaTel, Maxcom, Multi Net, Wisecomm, World Call, Cyber Net, Speed.Net, Gerry’s Net, fiber2home, Vision Telecom, Wateen, Brain Net, SkyNet and COMSATS.
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.
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.
Wateen Telecom launched its WiMAX services in Pakistan in 2007. Connections are available at speeds from 256 kbit/s to 9.8 Mbit/s.. PTCL offers Pakistan fastest WiMAX connection EVO Wingle at 9.3 Mbit/s. 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.
See also: E-Government in Pakistan
Pakistan e-commerce industry is worth an estimated PKR $25–30 million a year.
Pakistan’s first e-commerce company was started in 2001 with the establishment of Beliscity.com by Abid Beli and Kamran Paracha of Pexsol Interactive who together did great efforts to develop this industry in Pakistan, They increased the output of this industry from a few thousand rupees to 1.5 million USD estimated, Since then the market has grown steady until 2012 which was an inflection point in the industry.
- Pakistan Educational Research Network
- Information technology in Pakistan
- Internet censorship in Pakistan
- Telecommunications in Pakistan
- Universal Service Fund Pakistan
- Pakistan Telecommunication Coverage Footprint (maps), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.
- PKNIC, administrator of the .PK domain name space.