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Pakistan - Mobile Communications, Broadcasting and Forecasts


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Pakistan - Mobile Communications, Broadcasting and Forecasts

The mobile telephone market in Pakistan has been experiencing a period of healthy and sustained development. Mobile services were first offered in 1990 and, despite high costs, grew steadily at first; into the second decade and the market surged, with annual growth running at around 100% for a number of years. Subscriber numbers increased from around three million in 2003 to reach the milestone of 100 million mobile subscribers in the second-half of 2010. Penetration had moved past the 75% mark by mid-2014 with still more room for expansion. Operators have been struggling with falling ARPU but this is set to change with the market shifting from voice to data accelerates in the coming years. The regulator finally auctioned off the 3G concessions in early 2014, setting the scene for a vigorous effort by the operators to expand and consolidate their presence. While significant progress has been made in the regulatory area over the years, some rigidity in policies had been slowing growth and the pressure will build for further change. This report looks at the Pakistani mobile market, as well as a brief look at digital media.

Key developments:

The PTA held the auction for the 3G concessions in April 2014, auctioning off four licences;
One 4G licence was sold at auction at the same time;
The year 2014 consequently 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;
Warid Telecom was looking to launch a 4G service using its existing frequency allocation, having earlier passed up the opportunity to take part in the 3G/4G spectrum auction;
mobile banking was offering expanded opportunities for entrepreneurs;
the government has decided to ban MNP, although the implementation process for dismantling the system was not clear;
unregistered or improperly registered SIMs was continuing to be a major issue in Pakistan;
the tax office imposed a new levee on smartphones in 2013;
a survey showed that Pakistanis were generally happy with their mobile service.

Companies covered in this report include:

Mobilink (PMCL); Ufone (PTML, PTCL's subsidiary); Telenor Pakistan; Warid Telecom; Zong (formerly CMPak); Instaphone.


1. Synopsis
2. Mobile communications
2.1 Pakistan's mobile market
2.1.1 Overview
2.1.2 Background to development
2.2 Mobile statistics
2.3 Forecast mobile market 2015; 2020
2.4 Third Generation (3G) licences
2.4.1 Background
2.4.2 Auction 2013 / 2014
2.4.3 Licensing
2.4.4 Launch
2.5 Fourth Generation (4G) / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
2.6 Regulatory issues and developments
2.6.1 Number portability
2.6.2 Control of SIMs
2.6.3 Licensing in Azad Jammu and Kashmir
2.6.4 Levee on handsets
2.7 Mobile voice services
2.7.1 Prepaid
2.7.2 Satellite mobile
2.8 Mobile data services
2.8.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
2.8.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
2.8.3 Blackberry
2.8.4 Mobile TV
2.8.5 M-commerce / m-banking
2.8.6 Innovation in mobile financial services
3. Broadcasting
3.1 Market overview
3.2 Regulatory issues
3.2.1 Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance 2002
3.2.2 Digital terrestrial broadcasting
3.3 Free-to-Air (FTA) broadcasting
3.3.1 Pakistan Television Corporation
3.3.2 Shalimar Television Network
3.4 Pay TV
3.5 Cable TV (CATV)
3.6 Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)
4. Notes on forecasting
5. Related reports
Table 1 Mobile subscribers 1995 - 2014
Table 2 Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change May 2014
Table 3 Mobile operators, subscribers and market share May 2014
Table 4 Mobile services revenue 1998 - 2013
Table 5 Mobile services revenue 2011 - 2012
Table 6 Historical - overall ARPU across all mobile operators 2002; 2004 - 2009
Table 7 Mobile monthly ARPU by operator 2009
Table 8 Forecast mobile subscribers 2015; 2020
Table 9 Proportion of prepaid mobile subscribers 2005 - 2013
Table 10 Key broadcasting statistics 2013
Table 11 Cable TV subscribers 2003 - 2013
Chart 1 - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration - 2000-2014
Chart 2 - Mobile operators and market share - May 2014

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