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Pakistan - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses


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Pakistan - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses

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.

Internet penetration remained low across the country. Broadband growth had almost been negligible for some years, but there were some positive signs in recent years. The big change has been the arrival of mobile broadband in 2014. This has boosted overall broadband growth, helped also by the intense competition in the market place. The granting of 3G and 4G licences has certainly changed the broadband landscape.

The fixed line market in Pakistan remains underdeveloped due to the dominance of the mobile segment. Further, the number of fixed telephone lines is slowly declining as the mobile segment continues to expand. Overall penetration dropped from 2.6% in 2014 to 1.6% in 2015 and 1.3% in 2016.

The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have also both been active in providing capital for country's telecom sector. This contributed to a number of telecommunications projects, most of which have been involved in the laying of fibre optic cable and the installation of digital electronic switches. Pakistan has also had a universal access policy, which, among other things, was been aimed at expanding rural coverage by providing a phone in every village. Almost 70% of the country's population live in rural areas. But, as with most developing countries, growth of telephone services has been concentrated in the big cities. Up to 90% of fixed lines had been installed in urban areas. Of these, over 50% were in the three largest cities. In an effort to redress this imbalance, the government launched a project to provide payphones in villages throughout the countryside.

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:

total investment in the country's telecom sector was steadily picking up after hitting a low point;
government efforts to exercise control over the internet continue to draw criticism;
the E-Government Strategy is ongoing, as Pakistan tries to lift its lowly ranking;
mobile broadband services have totally overwhelmed the fixed broadband sector of the market;
after widespread opposition, the plans for the new tax were cancelled;
Public Call Offices (PCOs) numbers fell dramatically

Companies mentioned 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 Market Overview and Analysis
4.2 Revenue and investment levels
4.3 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Overview
5.2 Regulatory authorities
5.2.1 Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT)
5.2.2 Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)
5.2.3 Problems undermining PTA's regulatory role
5.2.4 National Telecommunications Corp (NTC)
5.2.5 North Waziristan Agency (NWA)
5.2.6 Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)
5.3 Government policies
5.4 Access
5.4.1 Internet control and censorship
5.4.2 Shut down of mobile networks 2012 - 2015
5.5 Universal Service Fund (USF)
5.6 Regulatory developments
5.6.1 Internet tax
5.6.2 International Clearing House (ICH) developments and demise
5.6.3 Infrastructure sharing
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 Fixed Network Subscribers by Operator
6.2 Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL)
6.3 WorldCall group
6.4 TeleCard
6.5 Wateen Telecom
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
7.2 Fixed line statistics
7.2.1 Payphones and Public Call Offices (PCOs)
7.3 New developments
7.3.1 Fibre Networks
7.3.2 USF Telecentre Project
7.4 International infrastructure
7.4.1 Satellite Networks
7.4.2 Submarine Cable Networks
7.4.3 International gateways
8. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics 2016
Table 2 Telecom revenue and investment statistics 2016
Table 3 Telephone network statistics 2016
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2016
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2016
Table 6 National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 Pakistan's real GDP growth rate 2005 - 2016
Table 8 Pakistan's total telecom revenue 2004 2015; 2020
Table 9 Pakistan's telecom investment total and mobile - 2004 - 2016
Table 10 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in telecom sector 2002 - 2015
Table 11 Fixed-line' licences issued by PTA
Table 12 Fixed wireline subscribers by operator and market share 2016
Table 13 Fixed-line (wireless) subscribers by operator June 2015
Table 14 PTCL fixed wireline subscribers 2000 - 2016
Table 15 PTCL WLL (fixed wireless) subscribers 2005 - 2016
Table 16 WorldCall's WLL (fixed wireless) subscribers 2005 - 2016
Table 17 WorldCall's fixed wireline subscribers 2005 - 2016
Table 18 TeleCard's WLL (fixed) subscribers 2005 - 2016
Table 19 Wateen Telecom's WLL (fixed) subscribers 2008 - 2016
Table 20 Historic fixed-line subscribers and penetration 1991 - 2005
Table 21 Fixed-line subscribers and penetration 2006 - 2016
Table 22 Fixed wireline subscribers 2004 - 2016
Table 23 Fixed wireline v. fixed wireless (WLL) subscribers 2004 2016
Table 24 Public Call Offices (PCOs) 1999 2016
Chart 1 - Fixed lines in service and penetration- 2006 - 2016

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