Pakistanis Exchanged 238 Billion SMS in 2011

Mobile phone users in Pakistan exchanged a total of 237.58 billion text messages in 2011 (Jan 2011 to Dec 2011), up from 176 billion text messages that were shared in 2010, said a report published by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.

Report said that on average one Mobile phone user sent 175 person to person SMS or text messages per month or 5.8 person to person SMS per day.

Operator Wise P2P SMS Traffic

PTA said that Telenor generated the highest SMS traffic during the year 2011 by contributing 26.5% percent of total traffic, closely followed by Mobilink which contributed 26.4 percent of person to person SMS traffic.

Operator Annual P2P SMS (Billion) Share of P2P SMS
Telenor 62.78 26.5%
Mobilink 62.61 26.4%
Ufone 57.83 24.4%
Zong 27.92 11.8%
Warid 25.72 10.7%

Operator Wise P2P SMS

Average SMS per Subscriber Per Day

Calculating the SMS-per-Subscriber-per-Day for each Pakistani cellular operator reveals the Network Popularity for the network. The PTA report suggests that Ufone subscribers are sending an average of eight(8) P2P SMS per day which is the highest when compared against other operators.

In contrast, the subscribers of Warid are sending less than five(5) SMS per day while other operators lie in between Ufone and Warid. Following table shows the calculated average number of P2P SMS per subscriber per day.

Operator No. of P2P SMS per Subscriber Per Day
Ufone 7.5
Telenor 6.2
Zong 5.6
Mobilink 5.1
Warid 4.7

On-Net P2P SMS

Out of the 238 billion text messages, almost 48% of the total person to person SMS were ON-NET , i.e. within operator’s own network. Mobilink generated highest on-net person to person SMS while Ufone generated least number of on-net text messages. Following figure will reveal more about this:

Operator Wise On-net P2P SMS


International Out-Bound SMS Traffic From Pakistan

Total international SMS destined to international operators from Pakistan during the year 2011 stood at approximately 430 million. Ufone stood top in sending the international SMS. Following graph details more on the same:

Operator Wise International SMS

On average 35.8 million text messages were sent to international operators from Pakistan.


Operator Wise International SMS per month

Bundled SMS

The trend of bundled package has increased in Pakistani market during the past three years. Cellular mobile operators have offered daily, weekly and monthly SMS bundles to it subscribers. These SMS bundles have gained popularity mostly due to its low cost and above all, its exclusivity to terminate on any and every network against a one-time subscription charge.

The bundled SMS traffic has increased to an extent that the CMOs are carrying an average of around 80 percent of their SMS traffic from bundled packages.

A comparison of ‘bundled SMS traffic’ with ‘flat rate SMS’ shows that; an estimated highest percentage of bundled SMS to non bundled person to person (P2P) SMS traffic on one of networks is around 97% (Bundled rate SMS traffic) to 3% non Bundled (Flat Rate) SMS traffic. Similarly, the minimum percentage ratio carried by another operator is around 65% (Bundled rate SMS traffic) to 35% non Bundled (Flat Rate) SMS traffic.

Approximate ratio on each network is given in the table below.

Operator Approximate Percentage Ratio of flat Rate SMS to Bundled Rate SMS traffic on Network
Mobilink 3 % Flat Rate: 97 % Bundled Rate
Telenor 3 % Flat Rate: 97 % Bundled Rate
Ufone 15 % Flat Rate: 85 % Bundled Rate
Warid 65 % Flat Rate: 35 % Bundled Rate
Zong 35 % Flat Rate: 65 % Bundled Rate

Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)

MMS usage in Pakistan has not been able to catch with SMS usage. In Pakistan, the total MMS sent in the year 2011 were 100.8 million (100,793,994). The revenues generated from MMS were Rs. 345,754,580, which amounts to 2.8% of the total messaging revenues.

All the operators offered MMS nationwide as well as to international destinations, except one operator.

Worldwide 207 billion MMS were sent in 2011 and have been forecasted to reach approximately 387.5 Billion by 2016 representing 1.7 percent of global messaging traffic.

Premium Rate SMS/MMS Services

Premium Rate SMS/MMS is a Value added Messaging Service that carries a premium price above the flat/normal rate that is charged from the consumer. Application to Person (A2P) and Person to Application (P2A) are typical types of PSMS.

A2P messaging includes messages from financial services, to or from an application, advertising, marketing, business administrations, ticketing, television voting etc.

In Pakistan, total A2P subscriptions from three of the operators, in the year 2011 were 865.1million. Number of P2A messages generated by subscribers to any application, on four of the mobile networks was 196.1

Approximate revenue generated from both A2P & P2A is Rs. 912.6 million that is almost 7.4% of the total messaging revenues.

Altogether, 64% of the popular premium rate SMS services used in Pakistan were music tunes, followed by missed call alerts (MCA), which is 20%. It is followed by cricket alerts that are 4%. There is still a great potential for the experts to explore in premium rate SMS services.

Following graph shows the popular A2P and P2A SMS services and their share:

Popular Premium SMS Services

Revenues from SMS, MMS

PTA stated that mobile messaging market generated an amount of Rs. 12.4 Billion (12,345,375,247 being the precise value) in 2011. This revenue includes the revenues collected from P2P SMS, MMS, A2P and P2A revenues.

The P2P SMS were the main contributor in terms of revenues. Around 89.8% of the total revenues were from P2P SMS. Around 2.8% of total revenues were MMS revenues while premium SMS (A2P and P2A) contributed 7.4% into the total revenue.

Revenues from SMS

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

  • mobilink and telenor is mostly for corporate sms packages , thats y we get so much spam msgs each day

  • close