ITU ICTeye has released the data for the year 2008. According to the statistics, Pakistan has not been able to overtake Sri Linka in the mobile connectivity sector. Where as, Maldives (143 active sims/100 people) has overtaken Sri Lanka (52 sims/100 people) to become the leader of mobile connectivity in South Aisa. It merits mentioning here that there are only two mobile operators in Maldives.
Pakistan is just behind Sri Lanka with 50 sims/100 people. Bhutan is next with 37 sims/100 people followed by Indian with 29 sims/100 people. This shows that India can not afford to let up the pace of 10 million connections every month for some time. If it does, it might be overtaken by Afghanistan (29 sims/100 people) and Bangladesh (28 sims/100 people).
The fact that Afghanistan, a country at war is ahead of Bangladesh should shake the government of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in the world and was one of the earliest countries in South Asia to adopt mobile connectivity. It looks like the Government of Bangladesh has to change some policies and review the whole issue that how Afghanistan overtook them. Afghanistan’s CAGR 2003-08 is 109%, higher than Bangladesh’s CAGR 2003-08 of 101%, this shows that the gap between the both countries is more likely to increase than decrease.Fix
On the fixed side, assisted by CDMA phones which are counted as fixed, Sri Lanka leads the rankings with 17 connections per 100 people, followed by Maldives with 28 connections per 100 people.
Nepal is at the third position with 2.8 connections per 100 people, followed by Pakistan with 2.5 connections per 100 people, then Bangladesh with 0.84 connections per 100 people and finally Afghanistan with 0.37 connections per 100 people. It is very surprising to see Pakistan behind Nepal given the superiority of the Pakistan policy and regularity framework. Both use CDMA on the fixed side, so that can not be the explanation.
India is the only country showing negative growth of -2 in fixed during the 2003-08 period. But this is because India counts CDMA on the mobile side.
From 2003 to 2008, the number of active sim connections has increased by 12%. Where as the the number of fixed connections has decreased slightly, but the negative growth of India has wiped out all the fixed growth in South Asia. It won’t be wrong if we say that South Asia is the territory of the mobile.