Pakistan’s growth rate of internet users is second highest in SAARC countries in accordance with its population. In Pakistan, the internet user’s growth rate is on the rise through the services of broadband internet and mobile phone services. According to Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK), the estimated internet users have reached 25 million in the country, Among 25 million internet users, more than 15 million of them avail internet services through mobile phones. Majority of the mobile phone subscribers use internet services for browsing, emails, Facebook and Twitter as cellular phone operators introduced different affordable bundle packages of Internet services to their subscribers.
The trend of using Internet is increasing rapidly with the arrival of smartphones of different handset makers though low-cost handsets are available in the market having options of online connectivity. Officials of the mobile phone companies said the Internet consumption of their subscribers varies due to different needs of individuals in their daily life. They said the customers having postpaid connection are large users of Internet services due to their business and professional demands. Besides youngsters usage of Internet is limited on mobile phone as they usually avail Internet services for social networking sites, informative webs and browsing.The excessive branding and marketing campaigns of mobile phone companies are generating positive results on their business in fact creating awareness among the customers before the launch of high data service—3G technology.The rising internet utility among the masses have increased the living standard of the people not only for communications and information purpose but for commercial means such as credit and money transactions by branchless and mobile banking.
The growth in internet users pave the way towards growth in different sector particularly the access of information and entertainment at affordable purpose but it should be controlled by the watchdog, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
In this regard, the government can minimize the harmful impacts of internet on its users by installing a Firewalls system to control the objectionable and indecent material on the internet as if many countries like China, UAE and KSA have done earlier.
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