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.
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).