The number of 3G connections in Pakistan passed the 10 million milestone in February, as the country’s four major players added 1.2 million new users during the month.
Last month’s 14 per cent growth, however, was down sharply from January, when operators reported 58 per cent growth in 3G connections, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). The slowdown was attributed to the country’s biometric SIM verification campaign.
The total number of mobile connections also remained at almost the same level as in January, at 136.6 million, after adding just 200,000 new connections in February, the Express Tribune reported.
Since the launch of the campaign, more than eight million SIMs have been blocked. Uptake also has been slowed by operators not being allowed to sell SIMs through retail channels.
Telenor Pakistan was the leader with 3.14 million 3G connections, followed by Mobilink with 2.6 million, Ufone with 2.4 million and Zong (China Mobile) with 2.1 million, the Tribune said.
The PTA said 4G LTE subscribers increased 39 per cent to 68,184 at the end of February. Warid Telecom had 60,923 LTE users, while Zong had 7,261.