Pakistan Gets 137.7 Million Mobile Phone Users, But We Doubt It!


Today Pakistan Telecommunication Authority reported that cellular users in Pakistan reached 137,683,211 by the end of April 2014, however, there is a confusion in the stats that are being reported by regulator.

Keep reading to know the details.

On May 2nd 2014, PTA reported that cellular subscribers in Pakistan were 136.47 million till March 31st, 2014.

Later on, a week ago or so, PTA updated these stats and reported that subscribers by the end of March 2014 were 135.44 million instead of 136.47 million.

When we asked PTA about the difference in number of subscribers that it had corrected, the authority said that there was a rectification required in the stats, which was fixed accordingly.

Interestingly, the incorrect figure of 136.47 million (PTA had admitted that figure of 136.47 million was incorrect) is carried in recent stats again.

Check below table to understand the situation:

Jan-14Feb-14Mar-14 (Incorrect)Mar-14 (Corrected)Apr-14


As clear from the above table, corrected stats for March 2014 tell that there were 135.44 million subscribers by month end. As mentioned before, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority confirmed ProPakistani that there was a mistake in earlier reported stats and that corrected stats (of 135.44 million) should be considered as final.

If corrected stats are to be considered final, as communicated to us by PTA, then Pakistani telecom operators added 2.2 million subscribers in April 2014, which is hard fact for me to believe.

It merits mentioning here that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority reports these stats on monthly basis as per the information it receives from cellular companies. There is no cross check, counter confirmation or any kind of validation protocol available with the authority to authenticate these stats.

It merits mentioning here that cellular companies have to deposit SIM activation tax of Rs. 250 for each new connection they add to their networks. Meaning that cellular companies have to deposit Rs. 250 for each new acquisition as SIM activation tax. This tax is collected as per the stats they share with PTA and there’s no other check on the numbers that cellular operators report, or that PTA ultimately produces as officials stats for cellular subscribers in the country.

So if you have enough money to be deposited as SIM activation tax, then you can boost your numbers against a tax money. That’s it.

Having said this, Pakistan has now 137.68 million subscribers — on papers at least.

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