For Pakistan’s internet service providers, Covid-19 lockdowns and work and study-from-home patterns have proved to be great efficiency gauges. Pakistanis were able to say the good ISPs from the bad by the sudden need for seamless and quick home connectivity, prompting them to rethink their service approaches, infrastructure, and offerings.
There seems to be no dearth of choices when it comes to internet access solutions in Pakistan. Both ISPs and broadband telecom companies claim better connectivity and offerings than their rivalry. But not all of them have a solution that is equally pleasant to the budgets and the changing needs of Pakistani citizens living in different cities for digital communication.
For example, Internet users in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad frequently complain of having very limited home internet choices. Presently, Nayatel rules the roost in Islamabad’s Fiber to the Home (FTTH) connectivity. As the old DSL infrastructure of PTCL left little option for the dissatisfied consumers, it did not take Nayatel much time to fill the gap and conquer the market with its solution for fiber optics.
Today when it comes to a stable home connection, internet users in the capital city have little choice: subscribe to Nayatel or else opt for volume-capped mobile broadband options that do not provide consistent speeds or limitless volumes like FTTH connections.
Interestingly, the days of the near-monopoly of Nayatel over the city can also be numbered. PTCL is making a slow and steady comeback with its expanding fiber GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Networks) footprint in Islamabad’s major Nayatel strongholds.
So, individuals now have one more choice for fiber-based home connectivity to choose from. Competition is always good for end-users, but for Islamabad’s home internet market, it does not end here.
With more entrants coming in to plug the FTTH connectivity holes in the area, things are also taking a turn for the better. For instance, Transworld Home is now planning to expand its footprint from DHA to the main hubs of Islamabad, starting with the F-10 sector. The Transworld office has been developed and there are live services in the city. Transworld W is also already serving in a few phases of Bahria Town and DHA Islamabad.
In addition, the Karachi and Lahore FTTH chief StormFiber (by Cybernet) is also said to be preparing an entry into the FTTH market in Islamabad in the near future, as per our sources. The company has already started to install the fiber-optic network in the major areas of Islamabad, including F-7, F-8, F-10, F-11, Diplomatic Enclave, and Blue Area.
StormFiber, Transworld, and PTCL are aggressively deploying their fiber infrastructure in the area. Our correspondent did a city survey and found that while Transworld is expanding in the F-10 market, PTCL is laying its fiber-optic infrastructure in F-7 areas.