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Commercial WiMax deployed in Pakistan

A lot of news on TV about Pakistan focuses on the current political situation or the situation along the border with Afghanistan. However in other areas Pakistan is really progressing. Way back in May 2006 is was reported that the largest WiMAX deployment was planned in the country. Now after more than a year it a reality. Initially I feared that the prices may be too high for anyone to purchase it, however it is very reasonably priced. Due to the reasonable price competition in the broadband area has started and prices have plummetted.

A year ago 256kbps (DSL) 'broadband' with a limit of 1GB would cost you 1000Rs ( US$ 16.7). The commercial WiMAX network deployed by Wateen Telecomm with the help of Motorola costs way less. 256kpbs for 1GB costs 350 Rs (5.8 US$). For the same amount of 1000Rs you can get 4GBs at 256kpbs wireless.

The network deployed by Wateen can support upto 1MBps, and tariffs for upto 10GB at 512kpbs cost just 2250Rs (37.5 US$), compared to 10000 (166.7 US$) it would have cost consumers with wired DSL.

Consequently wired broadband companies have responded aggressively bringing immense benefits to the consumers: The same company which used to charge 1000Rs (US$ 16.7) for just 1GB on 256kpbs, charges now 1200 ($ 20) for 4GB on 512kpbs. Increasing both the limit for usage and the transfer rates.

So Pakistanis have now access to increasingly cheap broadband options. I suspect that wireless broadband will become more popular than the wired option. Pakistan has the fastest growing mobile communication market in the World.

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