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Guide to selecting Broadband connection in Pakistan

May 09, 2014

broadband-guide-helpHave you moved to a new place and need an internet connection? Or are you tired with your existing internet connection and want to change your service provider?

As Pakistan’s first and only website dedicated to the broadband and internet services in Pakistan, SmartChoice has decided to write a quick guide that would surely help you in finding out an Internet Connection that suits your needs.

I would like to highlight the following attributes of an internet connection that you must consider before getting it:

guide_broadband1. Connectivity Options

First and the foremost thing to figure out the connectivity options that you have in the area you are living or moving to. Whether you have an option of DSL, Wireless, via LAN or Wifi. Find it out on the websites of different services provider in the coverage area section. Further confirm it from the helpline so that you are sure that service is available in your area.

Wireless: There are different service providers in the market (Qubee, Wi-tribe, Wateen) who are providing wireless internet services in Pakistan. This only requires you to purchase the device either on installment or on rental basis (some of them waive off) and there is no wired connectivity. Devices these days are equipped with WIFI and would only require you to switch it on to start using it. Biggest limitation of these wireless services is the maximum allowed bandwidth over that medium (over-the-air). So at the same time when its easy and convenient on the other hand it not as speedy as wired connections may be.

Wired DSL: DSL service providers are very few and services may be restricted to urban areas of Pakistan. PTCL Broadband, Micronet and Wateen are providing DSL connectivity in the metro cities only, although the claim is that PTCL DSL services are available in a lot more towns and cities, service quality and up-take there remains to be seen/verified. The wired DSL medium requires wired connectivity that terminates at your home into the DSL Modem. It generally stays stable unless there is distortion in the connection so make sure you check the entire connectivity before you pay off the initial amount.

Cable Networks: A city like Karachi is full of such Desi Cable Internet Providers. Their services are generally powered by strong bandwidth connection at the back-end that they distribute among many via LAN or WIFI. Not the best of its kind but very cheap in terms of monthly payments and initial investment on a connection.

2. Bandwidth you need

Higher the bandwidth and speed requirements, higher the costs are. Do not spend too much on broadband packages unless you are a speed lover and want to download large files at the lowest minimum time. Browsing and social networking sites work fine with 1 Mbps connection. Video streaming and downloading of large files work better on 2 Mbps or greater bandwidths. Greater it is more speed you are going to get.

3. Volume

Service providers generally cap the connection to the maximum amount of volume to be consumed in a month duration. This might allow you to have a good bandwidth but you might end up finishing up the allowed quota soon. So be sure whenever you select the right package that the volume quota is suitable to your need and use of internet.

4. Cost

As highlighted above, bandwidth is one of the factor that drives the broadband rates. Higher the speed higher the cost is. Wired connectivity is cheaper but lower in speeds. You must always check the package details as they often offer higher bandwidth with limited volume (MBs). Last but not the least, do compare similar services before you actually decide when one to select.

You can always use the tool available on smartchoice.pk to compare difference services.

5. Customer Services

You would never want your internet services to be down for a day or two (specially over the weekend). A few of the service providers give key importance to the customer support and their engineers readily respond to the customer queries. Look around and ask your peers and your neighbors to find out how they have experienced that particular service.

This guide may not be too comprehensive or detailed, but I have tried to keep it short and simple for you to read through and decide on how to go forward with.

Please feel free to leave your comments and queries below.


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