Telecom sector sees impressive growth in four years5 min read

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The growth rate of Pakistan’s telecom sector has been significant during the last four years. Information Technology and Telecommunication has contributed a lot by bringing Mobile Broadband services – 3G, 4G, LTE, to the country.

Pakistan has been working with firm determination for three years and even now is working hard for the development of its telecom sector.

The concerned ministry has been working with great determination to provide the telecom services to the not served people of Pakistan since the issuance of the 3G/4G licenses.

In 2014, 3G licenses were awarded to Jazz, Telenor, Ufone, and Zong while the last one was also given the license of the 4G service. In 2016, Telenor received the 4G license and after that Jazz was awarded the same license in 2017.

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The Telecom Policy 2015 has been taken as a standard of reviewing and integration of numerous telecom sector policies into one National Telecom Policy and Abolishment of ICH regime, the latter of which is to control the grey traffic.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) campaign of the biometric verification of the SIM cards resulted in the blocking of 98.3 million SIMs in which the 26.1 million SIMs were the active ones.

PTA is also working on Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRB) to fight the grey market smartphones in Pakistan.

In 2015, at the World Radio Communication Conference (WRC), the telecom sector obtained 100 MHz for the Mobile Broadband and 300 MHz for the fixed-satellite service. Efforts are there spread the telecom services to every corner of Pakistan.

The contracts for setting up 10 Telecenters are there. A community resource center providing broadband internet and e-services access to citizens in underserved areas has also been signed with Jazz.

No additional tax will be imposed on telecom sector as the Government of Pakistan wants growth of this sector.

ALSO READ: Economy Watch Telecommunication sector revenue reached $15.35b

It is reported recently, that India will also examined that first quarter of 2018 will hold tough results for Indian telecom sector. In the month of January 2018, India impact of international termination rate (ITR) cut effective February 1, 2018.

Continued ARPU down trading are likely to reflect in another quarter of sharp sequential revenue decline for the incumbents.

On the contrary, Pakistan is continuously experiencing a huge growth in terms of cellular subscribers, be it 3G or 4G. Pakistani mobile operator’s regarding digital Pakistan initiatives and providing best ecosystem in the country.

Pakistan Telecom Revenues are increasing as compared to Indian telecom sector. 40 percent revenue decline is at India Telco’s show. India is also behind when we evaluate the 4G position in the country.

Pakistan will have 17 million new mobile subscribers by 2020. GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organizations in adjacent industry sectors.

Overview of GSMA’s mobile economy report 2017

Asia Pacific set to account for two-thirds of the 860 million new subscribers expected globally by the end of the decade. By 2020, almost three-quarters of the world’s population or 5.7 billion people will subscribe to mobile services. Ten countries will account for 72 percent of growth in new mobile subscribers worldwide.

India is the world’s second largest mobile market. About 310 million new subscribers expected in the period to 2020. This is followed by China and fast-growth Asian markets including Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has recently reported that annual cellular subscribers by March 2017 are more than 139 million. 5G networks are forecast to cover around a third of the global population by 2025, with adoption reaching 1.1 billion connections. Total mobile revenues reached $1.05 trillion in 2016, up 2.2 percent on 2015, marking the second consecutive year of rising revenue growth.

With a global subscriber base that is soon to reach 5 billion, the mobile ecosystem has created a global digital platform that is increasingly connecting everyone and everything. In 2016, mobile technologies and services generated 4.4 percent of GDP globally, equivalent to around $3.3 trillion of economic value.

This is forecast to increase to more than $4.2 trillion (4.9 percent of GDP) by 2020. The mobile ecosystem supported approximately 28 million jobs in 2016. The mobile sector also makes a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector, with approximately $450 billion raised in 2016 in the form of general taxation. Almost $19 billion was raised in government revenue through spectrum auctions in 2016.

Mobile Internet Pakistan – Zong, Jazz, Ufone, Telenor

Pakistan is no less than any other nation when it comes to mobile internet usage. The number of internet users over a mobile phone is drastically flourishing. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has to record a groundbreaking 40.56 million internet users over a phone in April 2017.

The results show that mobile internet is mainly used to connect with family and friends using social networking apps like WhatApp and Facebook.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) experts say something like this. According to these experts, people either use the internet to contact their closed ones or use YouTube.

Teledensity in Pakistan

The number of mobile users in Pakistan jumped from 3.29 percent to 70.24 percent. With the number rising up, the mobile companies need to strengthen their technology and provide the best to stay ahead.

Further to the mobile operating companies in Pakistan, social networking and video sharing apps both can bring new ideas and compete with the already existing apps in the market.

Women of today are also moving towards this hi-tech. They use YouTube as the key source of dramas. According to PTA, last year the number of mobile internet users stood at only 22 percent.

This year, the number has shown a good increase of 7 percent. The authority also noted that there are around 976,600 mobile internet users per month.

With the huge rise in mobile internet subscriptions, mobile operating companies in Pakistan are in need to improve their system of connecting people over the internet. This would result in high benefits for both the users and the mobile operators.

The government should make a point to see a rise in their profits making a better economy of the country.

(This news/article originally appeared in Pakistan Economist on July 9th, 2018)

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