Rise of 3G and 4G Smartphone Brands in Pakistan

Rise of 3G/4G Smartphone Brands in Pakistan

Mobile communications and specifically consumer devices have become one of the most vital piece of technology today. In just last 10 years we have seen tremendous evolution in wireless service. This new advancement in mobile generations play a central role in the mobile network and aims to improve communication experience and provide greater access to new global communication reality. From the roots of analog based first generation service 1G to today’s broadband-ready 4G/LTE networks, the wireless industry has come a long way on the path of innovation and modernization.

3G/4G Evolution
From basic voice service of analogue networks of 1G to true mobile broadband of 4G, the evolution rightly has been phenomenal. It has empowered us to do what we want in a more creative and productive ways. In Pakistan, since last 10 months the growth came with 13 million 3G/4G mobile broadband users whereas for the past decade we could only achieve 1.4 million fixed broadband subscribers.

Since last 10 months the growth came with 13 million 3G/4G mobile broadband users whereas for the past decade we could only achieve 1.4 million fixed broadband subscribers

There are many unique services that have now been started in the country which have opened open doors to endless possibilities. While, one of the most basic and widely publicized feature of 3G/4G technology by mobile telcos is the video calling facility whereas, third party OTT services providers like Tango, Skype and IMO have also gained popularity. Streaming OTT Mobile TV service has also gained popularity after the 3G/4G service arrival where Mobilink, Telenor and Ufone have special offers for the online TV services plus they have also introduced Mobile TV applications for the ease of their customers. 3G/4G, video streaming has become smoother and faster but the most important effect that up-gradation of technology has exerted on the society is start of development services based on mobile in Pakistan including m-Health, m-education, m-government etc.
This shall further transform the technology infrastructure of the country and simplify our lives in the truest sense.
Every new generation bring new base technologies, more network capacity for more data per user are bought along with better voice quality. A higher number before ‘G’ means more power to send and receive information hence providing efficiency through wireless network. 3G/4G is considered a big game changer in the ICT world.

Pakistan has a population of about 190 million and expected to reach 220 million in 2025. This makes Pakistan a huge market especially for telecom services

After the introduction of 3G/4G, international as well as local brands in Pakistan started to concentrate on bringing more advance mobile devices that not only offer advance features and operating systems but also has inbuilt modem to support latest version of 3G & 4G. The market for mobile devices has significantly shifted from feature phones to more advance featured 3G/4G devices and the battle of the brands for these new breed has just started.

3G/4G Mobil Phone Scenario in Pakistan

Pakistan has a population of about 190 million and expected to reach 220 million in 2025. This makes Pakistan a huge market especially for telecom services. There are currently five operators working in Pakistan out of which four have started their 3G services last year whereas two operators i-e Zong and Warid are providing 4G services in the country. Installation of 3G/4G network is only one side of the picture, the other equally important aspect is the availability of 3G/4G enabled handsets to make use of that technology.

Device Type Comparison

Smartphone penetration is on the rise in Pakistan and every month massive upsurge is seen in smartphone imports. According to IDC’s latest report, the first quarter of 2015 saw a tremendous growth of 125% in smartphone shipment year on year with shipments up to 21% in comparison with the previous three-month period.

3G/4G, video streaming has become smoother and faster but the most important effect that up-gradation of technology has exerted on the society is start of development services based on mobile in Pakistan including m-Health, m-education, m-government

According to PTA, in 2014 46% smartphones and from Jan-May 2015 around 42% smartphones were imported in Pakistan. Tablet market also saw a considerable growth and reached 12% in first five months of 2015.The fluctuation in imports in every quarter may be result of the fact that many new brands Avia, Chilly, Asia Telco, Bandluxe, Kwick and Tazpad entered the 3G/4G device market with only couple of smartphones whereas big brands like Rivo, QMobile and Samsung regularly launched 4 to 8 devices in every month. 3G/4G enabled smartphones are comparatively expensive so smaller and newer brands do not launch many devices in order to capture greater market and avoid risks. But once they get a hold in the market they hopefully will also launch more devices.

Device Imports 2015

More than 50 mobile manufacturers including national and international makers have launched their devices in the country.   In the year 2014 considerable increase in 3G/4G enabled handsets imports were witnessed whereas in first quarter of 2015 3G/4G enabled handsets imports surpassed 2G handsets.

Network Based Devices Imports Pakistan 2014

Network Based Imports in Pakistan 2015

According to PTA, currently only 10% subscribers have shifted to 3G/4G networks but now that more and more people are turning towards smartphones, it is expected that the percentage of 3G/4G networks subscribers will increase as well. Because after all, smartphones have surely become everyone’s most favorite gadget in this tech world.

According to IDC’s latest report, the first quarter of 2015 saw a tremendous growth of 125% in smartphone shipment year on year with shipments up to 21% in comparison with the previous three-month period

Leading 3G/4G Smartphone Manufacturers in Pakistan

The competition in device market has become very strong over the last couple of years.  Many national and international brands have entered Pakistan device market and currently there are 52 mobile phone brands that have launched their devices in the market.

Right price mix, product offer and user experience are the key factors in driving the market, and vendors who keep these factors in mind will clearly lead the market. According to IDC’s 2015 first quarter report QMobile, the local mobile manufacturing company is leading the market with 58% market share both in the smartphone and feature phone category. Nokia, Voice and Huawei are also key players in local mobile market. The competition is expected to further intensify as other players like OPPO, Huawei, and Lenovo are making inroads into the market.

Top Devices Manufacturers in 2014

Top Devices Manufacturers in 2015

Qmobile has not only the the largest market share in mobile phone market but it is also the vendor that launches maximum number of 3G/4G enabled handsets at very competitive prices. They offer a wide portfolio of products that are specifically designed to cater each market segment.

Installation of 3G/4G network is only one side of the picture, the other equally important aspect is the availability of 3G/4G enabled handsets in order to make use of technology

In year 2014 QMobile launched 65 3G/4G smartphone models whereas during Jan-May 2015 it has launched 22 3G/4G smartphone models. Huawei, RIVO and Samsung are also making their mark in the 3G/4G technology. At the beginning the prices of 3G/4G smartphones were little high but now due to strict competition prices have significantly decreased and an average 3G/4G handsets  available around 3000 to 12000 Rupees.

Rise of 3G and 4G Smartphone Brands in Pakistan

Smartphones are dominating the mobile market at a much faster pace, consumers have also become more and more aware of the full potential of smartphones and now with incredible 3G/4G technology in place, the country will see a quick adoption rate. The availability of fast internet has brought changes around the world as now faster mobile internet access has grown exponentially in the past years. The worldwide smartphone penetration has reached 38% in 2015 whereas, 39% global mobile connections are now classified as ‘broadband’ (i.e. 3G or 4G). The same trend can also be witnessed here in Pakistan and it appears that soon the ICT scenario will completely be revolutionized.

Rizwana Khan

Dreamer by nature, Journalist by trade.
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