Startup culture is booming in Pakistan. We are seeing freelancers convention, round table conferences, reality TV shows and lot of investment funds springing up hunting for startups.
Technology is penetrating in society, people are switching to smartphones and somehow this whole scenario is supporting and promoting the startups of Pakistan.
It is an exciting time to live in and witness the cultural change happen. Today, we want to play our part and help the startups make a smart choice when it comes to buying a business broadband internet connection in Pakistan.
The most commonly available internet packages are from PTCL, Wi-tribe and Qubee. Nayatel is relatively a new player based in Islamabad which is slowly expanding its operations to other cities. Satcomm has good presence in Karachi. You will find so many others and this is where the problem starts i.e. how to choose which one is the best for you?
We have compiled few factors which you should look into to make a smart choice.
Ask yourself that how important is the ‘speed’ for you? Does your work consist of checking emails, blogging, reading online articles, skype calls, freelancing and browsing social media?
If yes then min. possible speed of 1 MB or 2 MB should solve your problem in most economic manner.
However, if your work revolves around uploading, downloading or streaming videos excessively then you need more speed and you should choose a package with more MBs.
You should be aware of the fact that more MBs of speed will increase your monthly bill. So, if you are tight on budget then go for the package which offers min. possible speed.
Most of the packages which you will see will have ‘unlimited’ written with them. These are the ones you should opt for if the nature of your work involves heavy data usage. For example, you sit whole day on internet to work.
What generally happens is that when you open a site then you are downloading data. The more sites you visit, the more data you consume. If let’s say you are not on the ‘Unlimited’ package then within a week or two your limit will run out and you would have to pay additionally for the data you consume. This can seriously upset your budget.
These limits are called Data Caps by the Internet Service Provider companies. Don’t fall into the trap of buying the cheapest package in the list. Plan and understand your internet usage to save money.
This is a tactic used by the internet service providers where they would advertise that if you subscribe for our package, installation is free. What they don’t tell you is that installing router has a fee which is to be either paid in advance in full or sometimes, it will be charged in installments.
While choosing a connection, do compare that who is charging how much for the first time installation cost.
After sales support
This is the second most crucial factor to consider while buying an internet connection. See and interview people who have use the service and ask that how is their after sales support team? How frequently the complaints arise and how fast are they resolved? If the team responsive and attends to the calls?
Also check that do they ‘charge’ additional for the service or is free of cost? If they do charge, then what are the terms and conditions? What if your internet device stops working, will it be replaced free of cost or will there be additional charges?
Ask as many questions as you can to ensure that you make the best choice.
Add on services
Some internet companies offer packages in which they provide Satellite TV. Since, we are talking about startups who are mostly running on tight budget and resources. We, therefore strictly advise you to stop opting in for these luxuries.
Startups should focus on how to perfect their product, get customers, scale and staying alive. Do not burn cash on things which you do not need.
The things which you should keep in mind are:
1. How much speed do I need and how much I am willing to spend?
Ideally, you will find lot of packages in around 1500-2000 PKR per month which should fulfill your need. However, if you need more speed then it goes up to 5000 to 10,000 PKR per month.
2. How much data do I plan to consume per month?
If your answer is ‘I don’t know’ then buy an ‘Unlimited’ package and if you feel like you just need internet to check emails and update facebook status then 50-100 GB data cap is more than enough for you.
3. Who is ripping you off by hidden charges?
See and inquire all costs before subscribing. Possible costs are installation charges, router cost etc.
4. How quick the company resolves the complaint?
If the company is not good with after sales support then you should leave them as it will cause you a lot of trouble in future. Imagine, you need to check your email and the internet is down and no one is picking up phone to register your complaint. Save yourself from that hassle by making a smart choice of interviewing the existing customers before subscribing.
5. How much luxury can you afford?
Is your startup stable and making good money? If yes, then you are allowed to buy some luxury add ons like Internet TV. Otherwise, do not buy any such thing which you do not need.
If you don’t know what you need then ask yourself this question ‘Will I die if I dont have that?’ This will help you make a smart choice.
We hope our in-depth analysis helped you. Share your experiences with internet service providers which you use.