Market Research Logo

Pakistan - Major Telecommunications Operators


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

With the mobile market in Pakistan experiencing a period of healthy and sustained development on one hand and the fixed line market languishing badly on the other, not surprisingly the operators in the respective market segments are experiencing contrasting fortunes. In fact the Pakistani mobile market has become highly competitive, with all five of the major operators vigorously battling for market share. The market newcomers have been particularly strong in asserting their presence. Zong and Telenor have both grabbed significant market share quickly, and market leader Mobilink continues to add subscribers to its network, passing the 35 million milestone in early 2012. (There were 120 million subscribers in the mobile market overall by that stage.) In recent times, the operators have seen a slowing in the growth rate of subscribers, but revenues were continuing to increase with high usage by customers. In the meantime, the struggling fixed-line market in Pakistan continues to be dominated by Pakistan Telecommunications Company Ltd (PTCL). The end of PTCL’s monopoly status in 2002, and with it the licensing of competing operators, has done little to change the commercial landscape. Coming into 2012 PTCL’s fixed wireline subscriber base had fallen to just under 3 million, this representing almost 96% of the total fixed wireline market. The private operators are a little better represented in the fixed wireless market with about half the subscribers in that segment. (The total fixed line market including fixed wireless services was just 5.7 million for a teledensity of less than 4%.) This report presents an overview, including subscriber statistics, for the major telecom operators in Pakistan.

Key developments:

The government settled its long standing dispute with Etisalat over the purchase of PTCL; Mobilink remained the largest mobile player by subscribers in Pakistan with a 30% market share; at the same time second placed Telenor had a 25% share of the market; Revamped operator Zong expanded its mobile subscriber base by 63% in 2011 and was continuing strong growth into 2012.

Companies covered in this report include:

Pakistan Telecommunication Co Ltd (PTCL); Mobilink (PMCL); Ufone (PTML, PTCL subsidiary); Telenor Pakistan; Warid Telecom; Zong (formerly CMPak); Instaphone (Pakcom).


1. Synopsis
2. Fixed network operators
2.1 Overview
2.2 Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL)
2.2.1 Overview
2.2.2 Background
2.2.3 PTCL and the regulation of tariffs
2.2.4 Financial performance
2.2.5 Privatisation of PTCL
2.3 Other fixed network operators
2.3.1 WorldCall group
2.3.2 TeleCard
2.3.3 Licensing in Azad Jammu and Kashmir
3. Major mobile operators
3.1 Overview
3.2 Mobile operator statistics
3.3 Mobilink (PMCL)
3.3.1 Overview
3.3.2 Background
3.3.3 WiMAX
3.4 Ufone (PTCL)
3.4.1 Overview
3.4.2 Background
3.5 Telenor Pakistan
3.5.1 Overview
3.5.2 Background
3.5.3 Network development
3.5.4 Third Generation (3G) licence
3.5.5 Telenor’s Rabta Centres
3.5.6 Solar-powered network
3.6 Warid Telecom
3.6.1 Overview
3.6.2 Background
3.6.3 Solar-powered network
3.7 Zong
3.7.1 Overview
3.7.2 Background
3.7.3 Millicom’s exit
3.7.4 China Mobile takes control
3.8 Instaphone (Pakcom)
4. Related reports
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 – ‘Fixed-line’ licences issued by PTA – 2011
Table 2 – Fixed-line subscribers by operator – June 2011
Table 3 – PTCL fixed wireline subscribers – 2000 - 2011
Table 4 – WorldCall’s WLL (fixed) subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 5 – WorldCall’s fixed wireline subscribers – 2005 - 2011
Table 6 – TeleCard’s WLL (fixed) subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 7 – Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change – May 2012
Table 8 – Mobile operators, subscribers and market share – May 2012
Table 9 – Mobilink (PCML) subscribers – 2000 - 2012
Table 10 – Ufone (PTCL) subscribers – 2001 - 2012
Table 11 – Telenor Pakistan subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 12 – Warid Telecom subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 13 – Zong subscribers – 2000 - 2012
Table 14 – Instaphone (Pakcom) subscribers – 2000 - 2010
Chart 1 - PTCL fixed wireline subscribers - 2000-2011
Chart 2 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - May 2012
Chart 3 - Mobile operators, subscribers and market share - May 2012
Chart 4 - Mobilink (PCML) subscribers - 2000-2012
Chart 5 - Ufone (PTCL) subscribers - 2001-2012
Chart 6 - Telenor Pakistan subscribers - 2005-2012
Chart 7 - Warid Telecom subscribers - 2005-2012
Chart 8 - Zong subscribers - 2000-2012
Chart 9 - Instaphone (Pakcom) subscribers - 2000-2009
Exhibit 1 – PTCL subsidiary companies
Exhibit 2 – Joint ventures and affiliated companies

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report