the policy makers, the mobile phone customer base in Pakistan has
rapidly expanded to 17 million by September, against the anticipated
projection of 15 million by December this year.
2003, the mobile phones totaled 5.02 million, which raised to 12
million by June 2004 and further increased to 17 million by September
showed the fastest growth of telecom sector in Pakistan when compared
to the performance of telecom sectors in the regional countries.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Shahzada Alam Malik disclosed
this in a brief talk here recently. The chief telecom regulator
arrived in the city along with his team to participate in the Telecom
Forum, organised in Lahore to share latest developments and to discuss
future of this sector.
in view the current pace of mobile phones expansion, Chairman PTA said
that this year the actual network of mobile phones in Pakistan is
expected to cross 20 million by December.
that a tough competition, cut in tariffs and availability of a wide
range of affordable mobile phones had paved way for an unprecedented
and unprojected growth in this sector.
PTA further said that foreign investment in telecom sector is expected
to grow to one billion dollars a year. In last one year, he said,
telecom has become the largest foreign investment earning sector and
future investment by the existing and new companies is set to give
boost to this sector, generating employment and streamlining economic
cycle in the country.
Malik pointed out that Telenor's share in cell phones network has
reached 1.2 million while the customer-base of Warid has rapidly
expanded to 1.5 million.
however, said that Mobilink and Ufone still are the top two mobile
phone operators in the country.
question about Number Portability System, PTA Chairman said that a
joint body of the cell phone companies, led by Telenor's head in
Pakistan, is actively working on this plan.
that all the companies have agreed to introduce Number Portability
Scheme which could be in place next year. He said that the deadline of
introducing this facility by November this year would be missed, but
next year it will be in place and Pakkistan will be the first country
in the region to offer this facility that would enable the cell phone
customers to shift to any company with the same number, although the
code of the company would change.
that this facility would be a check and balance for the cell phone
service providers in the country. If a company does not improve its
service, its customers would shift to any other company without change
in their mobile phone numbers, he added.
question about delay in PTCL take-over by Etisalat, Chairman PTA said
that the privatisation was the subject of the Privatisation Commission
and the PTA was only a regulator. He said that the PC should explain
to general public the actual situation regarding delay in the PTCL
that second survey result shows further improvement in the quality of
service being provided by Mobilink and Ufone, who were issued notices
by PTA a few months ago.
that the cell phone service providers are facing a very tough
competition and they themselves are under pressure to further improve
their service with the aim to satisfy their customers and to capture
more share in the market.
disclosed that seeing a boom in telecom sector, the city and district
authorities in the country have incorporated multiple increase in fee
for the installation of towers which has been proving an additional
burden on the telecom operators.
mobile services in Pakistan were commenced in 1990s. currently there
are four mobile operators working in the sector - Paktel, Instaphone,
Mobilink and Ufone.
in view the ever-increasing demand for mobile phones the government
decided to award two more cellular licenses in 2003. The first ever
cellular mobile Policy was announced by the government on 28th
January, 2004. Under the policy PTA issued two cellular licences to
foreign based companies, Telenor of Norway and Warid Telecom of UAE, @
US$ 291 million each in open, fair and transparent auction on 14th
table provides total number of cellular subscribers per year since
1996. The sector is growing at an astounding rate as in 2002 total
number of subscribers was 1 million and in just two years it has
crossed 6 million mark. This unprecedented growth can be attributed to
series of events that have taken place during the year. This includes
award of licence to two new mobile companies thus creating competitive
environment for existing operators. These operators have started
acquiring market share as much as possible by bringing down the prices
of new connections to zero. Similarly, PTA initiative to reduce
activation tax from Rs 2000/ to Rs. 1000/- on new mobile connection
has also played an important role in increasing the subscriber base as
the benefit was completely transferred to the consumers.
gives licences for operation of Value Added Services. Value added
services include NVCNS, ISP, CPP, VTS. BAS, VMS, ATS, DRPS and
sector has been deregulating since 1998 and today competition exists
in each service market. However, CPP and ISP are two services which
have the maximum number of licensees.
of investment by Private sector and incentive by PTA has helped these
services to grow. Today total number of card payphone PCOs have
reached 184, 669.
is changing rapidly and innovations are giving new faces to old
businesses, therefore, investment in value-added services is highly