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Pakistan - Key Statistics, Telecom Market and Infrastructure, Regulatory Overview, and Forecasts


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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.

Key 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).


1. Synopsis
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
3.1 Background
3.2 Economy
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Overview
4.2 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Overview
5.2 Background to development
5.3 Regulatory authorities
5.3.1 Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT)
5.3.2 Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)
5.3.3 PTA's administrative actions
5.3.4 Problems undermining PTA's regulatory role
5.3.5 North Waziristan Agency (NWA)
5.3.6 Shut down of mobile networks
5.4 Telecom sector liberalisation
5.5 Telecom Policy - 2014
5.6 Regulatory developments
5.6.1 Late night phone tariffs
5.6.2 International Clearing House (ICH) - background
5.6.3 International Clearing House (ICH) developments - 2014
5.6.4 Restriction on sale of SIMs
5.6.5 Operators accused of tax evasion
5.6.6 PTCL accused of anti-competitive practices
5.6.7 Dispute over origination charges resolved
5.6.8 Special regions of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K)
5.6.9 Third Generation (3G) licensing
5.6.10 National numbering scheme
5.6.11 Number portability (NP)
5.6.12 Infrastructure sharing
5.6.13 Security
5.6.14 Censorship
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.1.1 Overview
6.1.2 Fixed line statistics
6.1.3 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
6.1.4 Forecast fixed line market 2015; 2020
6.1.5 Worldcall Telecom in dispute with PTA
6.1.6 Background to opening up of market
6.1.7 Rural services
6.1.8 Universal Service Fund (USF)
6.1.9 Mobile services
6.1.10 Fibre optic networks
6.1.11 Broadband networks
6.1.12 Payphones and Public Call Offices (PCOs)
6.1.13 Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
6.1.14 Backhaul
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 International gateways
6.2.2 Pakistan-India link
6.2.3 Submarine cable networks
6.2.4 Satellite networks and systems
6.3 Infrastructure developments
6.3.1 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
7. Notes on forecasting
8. Related reports
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 Country statistics 2014
Table 2 Telecom revenue and investment statistics 2012
Table 3 Telephone network statistics 2013
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2013
Table 5 Mobile statistics May 2014
Table 6 National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 Pakistan's real GDP growth rate 2005 - 2015
Table 8 Pakistan's total telecom revenue 2004 2013; 2020
Table 8 Pakistan's telecom investment total and mobile - 2004 - 2013
Table 9 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in telecom sector 2002 - 2013
Table 10 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1991 - 2014
Table 11 Fixed wireline subscribers 2004 - 2013
Table 12 Fixed wireline v. fixed wireless (WLL) subscribers 2004 - 2013
Table 13 Fixed wireline subscribers by operator and market share September 2013
Table 16 WLL subscribers 2005 - 2014
Table 2 Fixed-line (wireless) subscribers by operator 2013
Table 14 Forecast fixed line subscribers 2015; 2020
Table 15 Public Call Offices (PCOs) 1999 - 2013
Chart 1 - GDP growth rate - 2005-2015
Chart 2 - FDI in telecom sector - 2004-2013
Chart 3 - Fixed lines in service annual change and teledensity - 2005-2014
Chart 4 - Fixed wireline vs. fixed wireless subscribers - 2005-2013
Chart 5 - WLL subscribers by operator and market share - 2013
Chart 6 Public Call Offices - 1999-2013
Exhibit 1 Long Distance International (LDI) licensees 2011
Exhibit 2 Local Loop (LL) licensees 2011
Exhibit 3 Wireless Local Loop (WLL) licensees and status- 2013

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