Pakistan has a lower score in mobile internet access across the country in comparison to other South Asian and competing countries, as per GSMA report “Pakistan progressing towards a fully-fledged digital economy.”
In terms of mobile internet penetration, countries including Iran, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka are far ahead of Pakistan. Due to the delay in the launch of 3G and 4G services in Pakistan, Pakistan lagged behind the competing countries in the region. Once, Pakistan led progress in the region with the highest teledensity in South Asia till 2007. But since then growth in telecom and its related services has slowed down in the country especially in broadband internet.
In the latest Mobile Connectivity Index of GSMA, Pakistan scored 39.8 in comparison to an average of 45.7 for South Asia.
In Pakistan, the penetration of mobile internet stood at 26%, with a 54% percent untapped market and a 2% uncovered area because of the slow expansion of network infrastructure in Pakistan, as per GSMA.
However, the average penetration rate of mobile internet stands at 33% in South Asia. It has 56% coverage and 11% uncovered area of mobile internet services.
Earlier on, the adoption of smartphones in Pakistan was low because of affordability and higher tax but in later years it picked up the pace.