A Comprehensive Analysis of ISP Market Players, Growth Trends, and Challenges

Some facts and figures of internet service providers in Pakistan

7/13/20233 min read

The ISP Sector in Pakistan: A Comprehensive Analysis of Market Players, Growth Trends, and Challenges


The Internet Service Provider (ISP) sector in Pakistan has witnessed significant growth and transformation in recent years, playing a pivotal role in connecting individuals, businesses, and institutions to the digital world. This blog post provides an in-depth analysis of the current state of the ISP sector in Pakistan, shedding light on market players, growth trends, and the challenges faced by the industry.

I. Market Players:

The ISP sector in Pakistan comprises several major players, each contributing to the development and expansion of internet services across the country. Some prominent ISPs in Pakistan include:

  1. Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL): As the largest state-owned ISP, PTCL offers a range of broadband and fiber optic internet services to both residential and commercial customers.

  2. Jazz: A leading telecom operator, Jazz provides broadband services, including DSL and fiber connections, across various cities in Pakistan. Jazz also bought WARID and working together under same company name.

  3. Telenor Pakistan: Telenor offers internet and wireless connectivity to customers through its 4G and fiber optic networks, catering mostly rural areas and parts of Kashmir.

  4. Nayatel: Known for its reliable fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services in Islamabad, Nayatel focuses on delivering high-speed internet connections, digital TV, and telephone services. Now Nayatel has started services in different parts of country including Faisalabad, Peshawar, and Lahore.

  5. Wateen: Started by Arab stake holders, wateen is serving and holding major stake in country's fiberoptic infrastructure and connecting many small and large internet service providers. Also wateen has interconnect agreements with major Mobile operators to work as them backbone connectivity provider.

  6. ZONG: A Chinese government direct investment, zong is covering and providing high speed internet to users using 3G/4G services throughout country. Zong is also providing connectivity and bandwidth solution to many small and large internet service providers.

  7. StormFiber: StormFiber is providing fiber optic internet connections to residential and corporate users, emphasizing reliability and high bandwidth. Stormfiber is Brand name of Cybernet (cyber.net.pk) which is few of the old internet service providers in country, Part of Lakson Group famous for its Lakson Tobacco Company (lakson.com.pk), Express News (TV Channel), Express Newspaper, and Franchise of McDonalds Across Pakistan. They are also working with brand name of National Broadband which is connected many small isps and providing them with panel operated internet service access.

II. Growth Trends:

The ISP sector in Pakistan has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, driven by various factors:

  1. Increasing Internet Penetration: Pakistan has witnessed a significant rise in internet penetration, with a growing number of individuals and businesses seeking reliable internet connectivity. This was all made possible due to mushrooming of small isps across country, some working legally with CVAS Licensed services from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA.Gov.pk) and mostly illegal small cable'wala operators.

  2. Mobile Internet Usage: The proliferation of smartphones and affordable data plans has fueled the demand for mobile internet services, leading to a surge in 4G and 5G connections.

  3. Government Initiatives: The government of Pakistan has undertaken several initiatives to promote digital connectivity, such as the Universal Service Fund (USF) and the provision of high-speed internet to underserved areas.

  4. E-commerce and Digital Economy: The flourishing e-commerce industry and the digital economy have necessitated robust internet infrastructure and reliable ISP services, contributing to the sector's growth.

III. Challenges:

Despite the positive growth trajectory, the ISP sector in Pakistan faces certain challenges that need to be addressed for sustainable development:

  1. Infrastructure Limitations: The expansion of internet services, particularly in rural areas, is hindered by inadequate infrastructure, including limited fiber optic networks and outdated technology.

  2. Affordability and Accessibility: The cost of internet services remains a barrier for many individuals and small businesses, especially in low-income segments, limiting their access to reliable connectivity.

  3. Quality of Service: Maintaining consistent internet speeds and reliable connections throughout peak hours is a challenge faced by ISPs in Pakistan, necessitating continuous infrastructure upgrades and optimization.

  4. Internet Censorship and Regulatory Framework: ISPs are required to comply with government regulations regarding internet censorship, which can impact freedom of expression and pose operational challenges. On other hand PTA (pta.gov.pk) a government institute to regulate internet and other IT Services is curbing on illegal service providers and many legal service providers (CVAS Holders) because they are not serving internet to customers using ISM band and fiberoptic instead. This is a basic threat for small business holders who are covering large part of country.


The ISP sector in Pakistan is witnessing remarkable growth, driven by increased internet penetration, mobile internet usage, government initiatives, and the digital economy. However, challenges related to infrastructure, affordability, quality of service, and regulatory compliance need to be addressed to sustain this growth. By investing in robust infrastructure, improving affordability, enhancing quality of service, and maintaining an appropriate regulatory framework, the ISP sector in Pakistan can continue to expand and contribute to the country's digital transformation. Last but not least Pakistan still has huge space for new investors who can invest in IXP (internet exchange points), fiberoptic infrastructure throughout country for better connectivity, long-haul fiberoptic links, data center connectivity solutions and satellite connectivity centres.