Growing rate of Wireless Local Loop (WLL) subscribers in Pakistan is snatching market share from fixed line market. Recent stats from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority show that fixed-line teledensity has seen a fall while WLL subscribers have marginally grown when compared to previous months. This addition in WLL subscribers is shared by all five major WLL companies operating in the country.
The WLL subscribers of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) have increased from 1,126,585 in July 2008 to 1,139,399 in August 2008, followed by Telecracd from 523,773 to 534,809, WorldCall from 500,159 to 509,606, Great Bear from 47,214 to 43,847 and Buraq from 388 to 400.
The total number of WLL subscribers has increased from 2,224,128 in July 2008 to 2,251947 in August 2008.
PTA’s most recent fixed line stats showed a declining trend in fixed line subscribers with going down from 4,086,206 subscribers in 2007 to 4,546,443 in the first two months of 2008. The PTCL fixed-line subscribers have declined from 5,128,442 in 2006 to 4,405,161 in August 2008. However, the subscribers of other fixed-line operators WorldCall, NTC, Brain Limited and Union Communication have increased during the current fiscal.
The fixed-line subscribers of NTC have increased from 99,665 in 2007 to 103,059 during the period under review of ongoing fiscal. The subscribers of Brian Limited have gone up from 6,089 in 2007 to 7,376 in the first two months of 2008. The subscribers of World Call and Union Communication have increased from 10,748 and 2500 in 2007 to 11,347 and 3,500 respectively in August 2008.
The fixed-line users of Naya Tel have increased from 11,000 in 2007 to 16,000 in 2008. The data showed that fixed-line teledensity dwindled to 2.80 in 2008. The PTA’s quarterly telecom review also pointed that fixed-line teledensity in the country was on decline with the PTCL losing its fixed lines users.
Experts opine that the situation is pulsating for WLL due to ordinary services from PTCL. Along with largest fixed line company, PTCL is also pushing its customers for Vfone (its WLL unit) instead of fixed line.
Furthermore, all WLL companies are enjoying the blunt violation of single mobility law. (Single Mobility law confines WLL customers to keep their handsets with-in a single tower’s coverage radius). This violation from WLL companies is adding more value to WLL handsets, as their subscribers enjoy the freedom of mobility at cost of fixed line communication.