Telcos Lost Rs. 1.8 Billion in Revenues for Remaining Offline During Ashura


Cellular mobile operators had to bear a collective revenue loss of Rs. 1.8 billion for shutting down the services in over 80 cities on 9th and 10th of Moharram.

Initial estimates suggest that around 100 million customers were impacted with the network closure.

It maybe recalled that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had directed all operators to shut down cellular and wireless services in over 80 cities including all major cities in Punjab, KPK and Sindh. Balochistan, this time, remained online throughout the weekend.

Rawalpindi, and its over 10 million mobile phone users, remained offline for four consecutive days, the longest black-out in the history of the city.

Based on the market share of telecom companies, the individual revenue loss of operators is as following:

  • Mobilink: Rs. 570 Million
  • Telenor: Rs. 470 Million
  • Ufone: Rs. 360 Million
  • Zong: Rs. 220 Million
  • Warid: Rs. 180 Million

In addition to Rs. 1.8 billion loss to telecom companies, government itself had to bear around Rs. 610 million loss in taxes.

As per limited data provided by telecom companies, customers also had to incur an estimated airtime loss of Rs. 100 million under the head of line-rent, SMS, voice and internet bundles that they had purchased in advance but couldn’t utilize the services due to network closure.

Note: Data presented in this report is estimated and is based on ARPU levels and market share (in terms of subscribers) of mobile phone companies.

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

  • Pakistani Patriot

    Security agencies saved 563 lives by turning mobiles off during Ashura.
    I think I value the lives of my countrymen than the dollar earned and then repatriated by telecom companies.

    • Shahid Saleem

      What a BS number. Where did you get it from? Only 563 countrywide?

      Another counter argument: N number of people could not call ambulances to get to a hospital because of no signal and died. Over a period of two days, N is certainly greater than 1.

      So, in effect, you’re allowing some people to die but that’s “okay” because some other people (allegedly) lived.

    • Adlo

      The stupidity of your argument is confirmed by the following comments :

      – No mobile phone was involved in any shit
      – Having no phones resulted in government and civil agencies getting to know about all this a little late which meant the fire brigade not getting their on time
      – Also many imam bargahs were burnt because people could not inform the police or other law agencies on time
      – Again no mobile phone was used and it in no way resulted in anything meaning the government just turns the mobile phones off to give people the idea that they are doing something when it is completely off.

      Having patriots like u is the biggest problem with this country. Mental level 0

      • Nabeel

        People could have used Landlines to inform Police and Firebrigade.

        • Shahid Saleem

          Not everyone has landlines. Lots of people who rent don’t have landlines.

  • test

    This on assumptions, as in rawalpindi ufone has biggest market share and it last for four days, so this means ufone lost more.

    • aamir7

      All such things were kept in mind before calculating the figures.

      • test

        Yes this is all on assumptions, have you considered per day revenue of telco along with particular cities in why the have biggest market share like
        Rawalpindi Ufone is biggest market share holder
        Lahore Warid is biggest market share holder

        It too complex to comment. I have reservations on your calculation.

  • Telco lover

    lets remove food from the markets, crush all the roads, block the mobile services, shut down the hospitals so that the terrorists couldnt go to hospital if get sick, couldnt call, couldnt travel …. :) simple as that, isnt it? :) what a solution …

  • Wasio Abbasi

    Although it is understandable that telecos suffered losses, what about the weekend then? After 2 days (or more in some cases), was the activity during the weekend steady as usual or saw an increase as people came back online? Was the usage higher compared to normal weekends, same as always or saw an even lower use (which will increase the loss)?

    At the same time we also need to see if the figures are in comparison agreeable with the average mobile usage during gazetted holidays. If Mobilink experienced an average loss of 570 million for two days, that means 235 million for a single day; would Mobilink had suffered the same amount of loss if the services were shut down on 14th August or some other national holiday?

  • Bilal Iqbal

    The one important thing was that, People were feeling Free at home or any where with no mobile service and spent their time with family (unless they were at Imam Bargah’s) and useless interaction with people was removed (at least I felt calm during these two days)… just think about it

  • Patriot

    So, the people of Pakistan had saved 1.8billions of their hard earned money, going into the pockets of these cellular thieves. If 2 days loss is 1.8billions and that to only in 80 cities, just imagine that how we pakistanis are wasting our hard earned money into the hands of these cellular companies in a whole year. 1.8×363 = around 328 billions roughly in a year. This money can be well spent on health, education, communication and the list goes on and on……

    • Shahid Saleem

      Last I checked, mobile networks WAS communication…