Karachi, June 11, 2019: Telecom sector’s contribution is pivotal in the economy as the operators have invested a significant amount of US$ 200.1 million during July to March of the closing financial year 2018-19, according to Pakistan Economic Survey for the year 2018-19.
The main driver behind this investment is the cellular mobile sector, which has invested the US $158.3 million during the first two quarters of FY 2018-19. The commercial launch of 3G and 4G LTE services has opened new opportunities for revenue generation for mobile operators. With a relatively difficult year, 2018 for Pakistan’s economy, telecom sector stands tall in the overall economy and showed improvement in revenues during FY2018 whereby total telecom revenues stood at Rs. 488.8 billion during the year 2017-18. Revenues from the telecom sector reached an estimated Rs. 268.8 billion during the first two quarters of FY 2018-19.
The progressive approach followed by PTA for providing ICT access to the citizens of Pakistan through international fibre optic cables, backhaul networks and wireless solution including 3G, 4G, LTE have resulted in more than 89 percent of the total population access to cellular mobile services of which 73 percent have access to 3G services and 69 percent have access to 4G services.
Total teledensity reached 77.2 percent at the end of March 2019 compared to 74.1 percent at the end of the last fiscal year 2017-18. The prime driver of teledensity rise is the growth in cellular mobile subscribers.
By the end of March 2019, the total number of mobile subscriptions in Pakistan reached 159 million with a net addition of 8.8 million subscribers from July 2018 to March 2019. Biometric re-verification of SIMs in 2014-15 had an adverse impact on the cellular subscriber base.
Mobile and Fixed Broadband subscriber base showed strong growth from July 2018 to March 2019. At the end of March 2019, broadband subscribers stood at 68.24 million as compared to 58.33 million at the end of the last fiscal year 2017-18. The number of net subscriber additions during the first nine months of 2018-19 stood at 10 million.
Local Loop Subscribers
The subscriber base of local loop segment has reached 2.70 million at the end of December 2018 as compared to 2.76 million as of June 2018. FLL subscriber base has been steady at 2.56 million subscribers as of June and Dec 2018) as reported by the operators. The closure of PTCL’s WLL connections and the mobile substitution effect has resulted in a gradual decline of the local loop subscriptions.