Mobile Companies Lost PKR 2.6 Billion On Eid Day Due to Cellular Shut Down

pakistan-telecomWe have a figure now which suggests that mobile phone operators lost PKR 2.6 billion on Chand Raat and Eid day due to a government directive that lead them to block cellular services in Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Quetta.

It maybe recalled that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had directed all mobile phone companies operating in the country to block cellular services in Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Quetta for security reasons.

According to ProPakistani’s estimates and data that we have got from cellular companies, a revenue loss of Rs. 2.6 billion was incurred due to cellular shut down.

Here is how we got this figure of PKR 2.6 billion:

According to Wikipedia and other official online resources, combined population of Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Multan is estimated to be around 32 million.

Considering that mobile phone tele-density in Pakistan is at 68.2 percent, then 21.9 million subscribers (total population in four cities x tele-density / 100) or 18.5 percent of total cellular subscriber base in Pakistan went offline on Eid day, leaving them with no way to communicate with their loved ones in Pakistan and abroad on evening of Eid.

Considering that ARPU (Average Revenue Per User Per Month) is around PKR 230, then average revenue per user per day would stand at: PKR 7.66.

At daily ARPU of PKR 7.66, average revenue for 21.9 million subscribers would be: PKR 176.75 million.

Cellular companies, when asked about the issue, told me that mobile phone operators make at least 20 times more revenues on Eid day as compared to any other day of the year. If assumed so, then let’s take 15 times instead of 20 times (to avoid inaccuracies) here is what we get:

  • 176.75 x 15 =  million or PKR 2.6 billion

Hence, it is speculated that cellular companies lost PKR 2.6 billion during the service shut down on the orders of Minister Interior.

Interestingly, even after bearing a loss of PKR 2.6 billion, no mobile phone operator has reacted in any manner or at any level. From off the record conversations that I had with officials of telecom companies, it appears that no operator is in mood of making any move to protest the blockade of cellular services – making a way for Interior Minister to repeat this stunt in future too.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, a body responsible for regulating and safeguarding the telecom industry, is apparently unmoved on this too. In fact Farooq Awan, Chairman PTA, was happy with the positive results attained by the blockade of cellular services.

With such a “Yes Sir” attitude from regulator, it is likely that we may see more such blockade of cellular services in the name of security. Should I call it democratic revenge or a Eidi gift that political government has bestowed the nation with.

It should not be forgotten that at 19.5 percent tax rate, government lost PKR. 507 million in taxes, that were supposed to be made by cellular subscribers. I am not sure if Rahman Malik sb will be held responsible for this Rs. 507 million loss or not.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

    • But how many lives have gone because of unavailablity of emergency call, think about it.
      Stopping everything is not the solution.

    • 1. Banning pillion riding, Stopping Mobile Phone Service, Two days weekly holidays, Clocks 1 hour ahead or so… These are simply games and NOT Solutions, these stupid actions donot save human lives. The real solution for the all ills faced by the Nation is NOT in such Stupid Dramas. Solution lies only in getting rid of incompetent Corrupt rulers, for whom only their Swiss Accounts matter most.

      This matter warrants suo-moto action by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. If Supreme Court can take Suo-moto action on At**a O**o’s carrying few bottles of Li**r (a totally personal crime which has no effect on the economy or law and order of the country), then it is the real duty of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, to take Suo-moto action in this case. Because Mr. Rehman Malik has cause Rs.507.million loss to the poor country’s exchequer (tax revenue) hence committed a serious crime against the poor people of Pakistan, so he must be punished for it.

      Most importantly, is it a rocket scince to verify the antecedents of mobile sim owners? NOT at ALL, if there is a REAL WILL to DO so. Even this can be done easily within six (6) months. Simply, All existing mobile sim owners should be asked to personally appear before their nearest NADRA offices, submit a list of their mobile phone numbers on a prescribed form, and the data so collected by NADRA may be sent to the PTA. After the expiry of six (6) months period, all unverified sims must be blocked till these are verified through this way.

    • Totally agree with your point, what if there were a suicide or a bomblast attack on Eid Namaz?
      It was a wise decision made by Govt Officials!

      • What about banning cloths so that suicide bombers may not be able to hide anything under cloths? What about banning cars so that cars may not be used for car bomb attacks. “There is a always a limit to wisdom, but no limit to Stupidity”.

  • Agar govt ka yehi hall raha to mobile companies bhi shutdown kr k other countries challi jain ge. Ye nai (barbar) to mulk ke peeche par gia hai. ALLAH bachaye lutero se

  • Aamir bhai 2.6 billion should be divided by 24 hours and than multiplied by 14hours than you will be able to get more accurate figurer. Since the service outage was not for 24hours.

    Also the final figure will not be accurate too, as people has sent messages/calls after the services were resumed, so telcos didn’t lost too much, infact they lose big amount but the calculation id little bit difficult :).. Logon nay chand rat mubarak k messages miss kar diyay hungay lakin Eid mubarak k tu 11 bajay tak kar dia hoga na send :-D

  • Rather than criticizing on every move the government, learn to appreciate.
    The decision was very wise considering the recent conditions everywhere.

  • iss mulk ka sab se ziada nuqsan awamka hi hota hai.aur sab se mazay main fouj hi rehti hai.
    khud kuch na karo.
    logo ke mobile band kar do

  • It was saving for the people.Both money and from terrorists.
    Lets be realistic ,80% of our population exchange useless messages.Every thing used to work quite fine when there was no mobiles or were at least they were not so commonly in use.
    Mobile companies will not go away.They are making profits.Our poor nation is crazy and we imported over $ 340 million mobile phones in one year.Who says we are a poor nation.We are a foolish nation.

  • What a great solution
    Shutdown telecom
    Shutdown electicity
    Shutdown Gas station
    Shutdown sui gas
    Shutdown landline
    Ban Pillion ride
    Remain locked in your home

    There you go you have terrorist free peaceful country

    Nice way to hide there failures

    • +1… the list can be mile long easily… our ultimate solution to all our problems….
      Ban internet sites
      Ban Cable TV
      Ban Indian movies
      Ban Stage shows

      Sadly its begging of an end for telecom boom in PK

  • As per my opinion and expertise, This action seriously damaged the image of our country.
    When we heard about such suspension of services in Balochistan, we perceive that situation is critical in Quetta and surrounding areas and we hesitate to travel there.
    Secondly,such suspension if was necessary, it should be communicated to the Multinational Companies in a requested mode,for participation to a nobel cause (As Security Measure) so image as commercial point of view, could be maintained or could be safeguard from negative perspective.

    In current situation, where no such proactive steps were taken, now a suggestion to the GOP/Authority to offer attractive working environment to the whole Industry, in shape of less tax, in shape of subsidy, in shape of financial support for their revenue loss or in shape of business encouraging environment

  • What about overall impact? i.e impact on social life, emergencies, casualties due this may be.. economical impact. impact on businesses etc.

  • govt needed bhatta from telecom companies thats why this happened.
    1 day we will listen to stay in home, dont go to job because we are afraid of terrorists. B*ll sh*t

    • Yes. What happened to the 47 BILLION Rupees the companies are denying to give the government? Maybe this is a signal to the companies from the government.

  • …as if the CellCo’s will show any mercy to their customers and would ultimately milk this from our pockets… they lost 2.6 Billions but can anyone provide the figures of how much they made on Eid day when the services were resumed? I bet it was double of what they lost that night.

    What about the tax evasion fiasco by these same CellCo’s?

    Iss Hamam Mein Sub Nangay/Ganjay Hay Bhai…

  • Great Works, at least we can judge our-self that we can live easily without cell phones, it’s all about tension, so this practice should perform every month.

  • baat dono taraf hai, zarurat ke time network na ho tu kya fida aur ager eid per network na kaam ne kere tu in companyo ka kya fida.

  • alhamdulillah it was a safe eid and we heard only of people going to parks. those few millions are far lesser than the price of joy and on top of all a single life of a Pakistani.

    well done all involved departments.

    Keep up the same thing.

    • Wow, what an idiot you are.

      What will you say if I told you my mobile phone keeps tigers away? You will think I am mad! But do I have a mobile phone? Yes. Are there any tigers near me? No. Therefore, logically, my mobile phone must keep tigers away, right????

      Just because there was no terrorist attack while the network was down DOES NOT MEAN that there was going to be an attack. We saw all throughout Ramadan there were attacks. We saw in the 1980s there were bombings by KHAD all over Pakistan. They did not need mobile phones then, and they do not need them now.

  • This loss was for only few cities if the whole country shutdown would have been done than it would be a night mare

  • Excellent Step by Government and Rehman Malik…. All prepaid must be closed with immediate effects, this not only reduce security risk but also one of the big step to stop sexual activities, phone sex and many other bad taboos.

    Keep it going… I am in favor of this step.

  • banning sim is not a solution to the problem. My mobile got snatch during ban on pillion riding by two snatchers on two different bikes, similarly, there would be some another nasty way for terrorist even after banning prepaid sim.

  • Agr sirf 4 divisions mein sirf 13 hours cell phone offline rehny ki wajah se 2.6 Billion ka loss hua hai to phir khud e socho k 24 hour poory country mein cell phone online hony ki wajah se companies kitna earn kar rahi hain.

  • This was nothing but a push by the government to try and milk the companies of the 47 billion in the SO CALLED unpaid taxes…. this is why the telcos will not speak out against this, they would rather bear 500 or 600 million in losses instead of paying the 47 billion…………

    negotiations with the gov have failed more than once over this issue and the telcos still want to handle this as amicably as possible

    • Ha ha, negotiations. Let me tell you something. When the CIA and MI5 overthrew the Iranian government in 1953, and reinstalled the Shah, it cost them between $1 and $3 million. That is it.

      How hard will it be to overthrow THIS government? Will it cost less than Rs 47 billion (about $500million)? Y E S.

      So logically what is the better option for them?

      FUND A COUP!

  • the Problem is that Telecom sector is only remaining sector who is not giving percentage of income to Zardari and Co. Until and unless they will not give 20% to zardari and co these blockade will remain part of their life as well.

  • makafaat-e-amal.

    these telecom operators does not have enough money to facilitate their deployed site guards on site.

    they pay very low salaries and not on time even. and always there is a conflict on sharing sites. 4 operators sharing one site and agreement remains the same.

    cheap strategies of all telecom operators. all these operators deserve this !

  • Amir Bhai,

    wat about the defaulter MOCs which were called off by NAB ????????????

    dont u see any connection between ??

  • though the decision taken by interior ministry war wrong but this article is a bit harsh dude. service was shut down for approx 12 hrs i think, so whole calculation down has come to null :)..!1 or v can say they lost 1.3 billion, which is still hell of a money :)

  • May be Zardari and his toola asked for commission from mobile telco companies from their EID revenue and after getting a negative response from them, their services were abandoned under the crafted picture of terrorism threat.
    As we have not seen any news of any kind of terrorist being abducted during this shutdown activity, and the telco companies are keeping thier mouth shut rather than agitating, some fishy fishy smell is coming out of this episode.

  • it is only due to pressurised companies to buy 3g license before elections .and ask for eid commision 20 percent of revenue on rejection stop all operator services in big cities.

        • Yes, but they talked to the telco companies and got the figures. While you both published ABOUT the issue, they did the journalism thing and got the facts instead of speculating based on figures.

          • what makes you believe that we didn’t talk to companies?

            And how will you react if I tell you that companies had no figure earlier, but we agreed to drive a figure from up-mentioned formula?

            • How likely is it that you talked with the same people the newspaper talked to? how likely is it that both the people you talked to and they talked to came up with the same estimate based on the same approximations?

              • I am someone from the industry that Amir spoke with. I know exactly how these calculations were made and where the numbers came from. propakistani discussed with us how this could be calculated to the nearest accuracy and that is when he put it up. If tribune had inquired about this, i would know because these figures were suggested by me. and i tell you, tribune had no clue.

  • Rehman Malik kabhi theek kaam bhee kar sakta hai, khair haalat tau waqai buhat kharab hain bhangi ho ya dhobi, rickshaw wala ho ya bus conductor, bhangan ho ya kam karne wali massi sabke pass 4 ya 5 sims tau hoti hain ..many evils are atatched with this increasing pre-paid culture, law should be made to issue signle sim on single cnic in all networks means each pakistani can keep a single mobile sim, by virtue of MNP facility one can switch his network if he/ she desires to do so, therefore restriction on pre-paid mobile system seems to be a good step as after implementation of same only genuine mobile users will keep mobile phones, i have witnessed a traffic police constable talking on mobile while discharging his duties on a road what a rubbish, young generation getting is getting spoiled by this mobile bomb. I strongly favour to immediately stop pre-paid mobile services all over pakistan.



    • My Question Is That’ which country blocks the mobile services for security. Our government has bee week. What is doing our country force and Police? If they work honestly. Terrorism will be finished.

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