The rapid development of 3G/4G infrastructure and rising demand of smartphone have hiked the imports of telecom sector to reach a whooping total of Rs 75.81 billion or $751 million during the period of July to December 2014, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said.
Overall spending of telecom sector has increased to Rs 75.81 billion, which showed a growth of 21 percent as compared to same duration previous year.
The telecom equipments imported by telecom operators reached to Rs 40.747 billion or $403.702 million, registering 33.15 percent growth from last year. The spending depicted a major share of cellular phone companies followed by broadband operators and enterprises technological solution providers who import datacenter and other tools etc.
The imports of mobile handsets increased to reach to Rs 35.135 billion or $347.559 million in the period of July to December 2014, PBS figures said. The values are 9.90 percent higher than the last financial year.
These figures showed that imports of the telecom industry may cross to Rs. 100 billion by the end of financial year 2014-15 on the accelerated demand of technological advancement on the part of industry and consumers alike.
Cellular phone operators are upgrading their networks on 3G and 4G technology on faster base exploring potential areas of major cities hence the imports of equipments will continue to increase in the months to come.
At present four operators have launched 3G services and two have introduced 4G services but their coverage is very limited and quality is questionable in many areas. This means more roll-outs in days to come and resultantly more imports.
Mobile Handset Imports
Current number of mobile phone customers using 3G/4G technologies are mere 5 million as per PTA and this number is bound to get double with-in this fiscal year, which shows a huge market potential for handset companies.
The imports of handsets have crossed Rs 35 billion mark in first half of 2014-15 which shows an average monthly import of mobile stands at Rs 5.8 billion. The imports of handsets entailed high priced smartphones and low-priced handsets alike.
Smartphones are higher in values but limited in quantity whereas low price mobile handsets are being imported and sold out in much higher quantity throughout the country.
All new and old handsets companies are seemingly more at war to sell their smartphone units to customers but the growth of their business is largely attributed to expansion of 3G/4G network and respective services in the country. As the coverage area expands, the demand of handsets will increase itself.