Mobile broadband subscriptions in the country have reached a historic 100 million mark. In a statement on Friday, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced this, terming it a result of supportive government policies, effective competition among telecom operators and its commitment to introduce and utilise innovative technologies in the country. According to the PTA, in 2012, there were less than 2 million subscriptions but after the introduction of 3G services, the figure jumped to 16 million in 2014 and a grand 100 million in 2021. At present, 87 percent of the country’s population has access to internet/broadband services at one of the lowest rates in the region. Moreover, broadband is provided over 3G/4G networks with an average download speed of 17.7 Mbps and upload speed of 11.3 Mbps (mobile) which is above the speed levels in other regional countries. According to the PTA, mobile data prices declined to only 0.70 percent of the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita which is well below the UN Broadband Commission’s recommendation of less than 2 percent. All four national cellular mobile operators (CMOs), SCO and fixed line broadband operators including PTCL, collectively have broadband subscriptions of over 100 million now. It has become possible due to growing usage of data services in every segment of the national economy, popularity among users and introduction of new and innovative services by operators, said the PTA. Pakistan telecom sector has achieved many milestones previously also such as reaching 100 million mobile subscriptions in 2010, introduction of first ever biometrically verified SIMs across the country in 2009 and implementation of the world’s first open-source Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) in 2019. The PTA lauded the users and the service providers for achieving this land mark. “We will be formally celebrating the occasion soon with all the stakeholders and national / international telecommunity,” said the PTA.