The Internet in Pakistan has been available since the early 1990s. Information and communications technology (ICT) is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. In 2001 just 1.3% of the population used the Internet. By 2006 this figure had grown to 6.5% and in 2012 to 10.0%.
The first dial up E-mail service was introduced by Imran-Net in 1992-93. The state-owned Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) started offering access via the nationwide local call network in 1995. The country has been pursuing an aggressive IT policy, aimed at boosting Pakistan’s drive for economic modernization and creating an exportable software industry. In 2001 Micronet Broadband launched the first DSL service. Pakistan had almost 128 ISPs in 2007, with customers concentrated in the areas of Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. PTCL offers free dial-up Internet service to all its landlinesubscribers. In 2006 NayaTel began to offer Fiber to the User (FTTU) triple-services in the capital city of Islamabad. Broadband access is available in major cities, wireless broadband Internet has been introduced by the Wireless local loop (WLL) networks in many major cities, andWorldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) networks are being deployed. Most Pakistani companies, educational institutes, and government departments maintain web sites, which has further increased the demand for Internet access.
Most Internet usage in Pakistan is still in English, however there seems to be a shift towards the Urdu language. Many Urdu based newspapers maintain an Urdu presence on web, however common usage is often done in romanized Urdu.
There is an influx of players targeting the growing Urdu speaking Internet population by providing services in Urdu in Pakistan. The biggest switch can be seen in the fact that Google and Facebook are now operating in Urdu. Other sites such as classifieds site Dekho.com.pk and Klondajak and community based site Hamariweb are providing their services in Urdu.
Broadband is offered at speeds that range from 1 Mbit/s to 50 Mbit/s in all major cities. The largest broadband providers are PTCL and Wateen. Smaller DSL providers are Micro Net, NayaTel, Maxcom, Multi Net, World Call, Cyber Net,Speed.Net, Gerry's Net, fiber2home, Witribe, Brain Net, SkyNet and COMSATS.
In August 2007+, PTCL launched its Smart TV service, an IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) service. IPTV along with high-speed broadband internet and voice telephony is available on the subscribers existing telephone lines at the same time on one bill. This and similar offerings continue to blur the boundaries between telephones, the Internet, and traditional television and radio broadcasting.
PTCL and World Call provide wireless broadband using the Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) Rev. A standard, with speeds of up to 3.1 Mbit/s. PTCL provides its service under the brand name EVO which is available in more than 100 cities. In August 2010 PTCL upgraded to EV-DO Rev. B (Phase 1). This new service, called
Wateen Telecom launched its WiMAX services in Pakistan in 2007. Connections are available at speeds from 256 kbit/s to 9.8 Mbit/s. Wi-Tribe and Mobilink are also offering WiMAX, as is Augere under the brand name Qubee. PTCL offers Pakistan fastest WiMAX connection EVO Wingle at 9.3 Mbit/s.
Pakistan e-commerce industry is worth an estimated PKR $25-30 million a year.
Pakistan's first ecommerce company was started in 2001 with the establishment of Beliscity.com by Abid Beli and did great effort to develop this industry in Pakistan, He increased the output of this industry from a few thousand rupees to 1.5 million USD estimated, Since then the market has grown steady until 2012 which was an inflexion point in the industry. Rozee.pk was founded in 2007 by Monis Rahman as an add-on to his main business, Rozee has grown to become Pakistan’s premier portal for jobs.
One of the reasons for the slow upstarts in the Ecommerce sector has been the lack of marketing in the field. Despite the growth of digital marketing companies, the annual spending in online marketing is still less than $3 million USD due to the lack of understanding by marketers on how to work with E-businesses.
Licensed Internet service providers in Pakistan: