Pakistan - Key Statistics, Telecom Market and Infrastructure, Regulatory Overview, and Forecasts
Pakistan's telecom market had been struggling for a long time with the transition from a regulated state-owned monopoly to a deregulated competitive structure. The government set out plans to increase fixed-line teledensity from 2.5% at the end of 2002 to 7% (around 10 million fixed lines) by 2010. This target became impossible to achieve in time and by 2012 the fixed subscriber base was actually declining. After peaking at 4% in 2008, fixed penetration had fallen to 3% coming into 2014. In the meantime, though, the focus had changed; the whole telecom landscape in Pakistan had shifted with the phenomenal expansion of the country's mobile market. Over the same planning period 2002 to 2010 the number of mobile subscribers jumped from less than two million to 100 million. Despite a tightening of the national economy during 2009 the mobile market continued to expand at an annual rate of between 5% and 10%. And it had increased to 140 million by mid-2014. (The market had even sustained a contraction over that period following the tighter control of registration of SIM cards.) While mobile penetration had reached 75%, internet penetration remained low. Broadband growth had almost been negligible for some years, but 2008/09 saw the start of a promising upsurge in broadband subscriptions. This pattern in broadband growth looked to be continuing, boosted by the spread of competition throughout the market and the steadily increased adoption of mobile broadband solutions.
The granting of 3G licences and the first moves on 4G services in 2014 was certain to see the mobile broadband segment move into major expansion mode. This report offers a set of statistics on the Pakistan telecoms market, as well as information on the overall regulatory regime and regulatory developments.
Tighter restriction on number of SIMs permitted per person introduced by PTA;
The PTA held the auction of 3G concessions in April 2014;
One 4G licence was sold at auction at the same time;
The year 2014 saw a series of 3G network launches with all four licensees operational by July;
Zong launched its 4G offering the first of its kind in Pakistan in September 2014;
Total investment in the country's telecom sector picked up in fiscal 2013 after hitting a low point in 2012;
Pakistan has launched its first communications satellite, Paksat-1R;
By 2013 the broadband subscribers was expanding at a strong rate of around 25% annually;
PTCL announced plans in 2013 to help fund a new submarine cable system linking the Far East to Europe;
A task force from the National Response Centre for Cyber Crimes (NR3C) had shut down more than 30 illegal VoIP providers in 2013.
0Companies covered in this report include:
Pakistan Telecommunication Co Ltd (PTCL); Mobilink (PMCL); Ufone (PTML, PTCL's subsidiary); Telenor Pakistan; Warid Telecom; Zong (formerly CMPak); WorldCall; TeleCard; Dancom Pakistan; FLAG Telecom Group; Special Communication Organization (SCO); National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC).
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