3G/4G subscriptions in Pakistan reached 15.75 million with the growth rate plunging in recent months mainly due to new taxes on internet services and comparatively sluggish 3G network expansion plans from telcos.
During August 2015, mobile phone companies added a total of 1.15 million 3G/4G users with Zong and Telenor topping the charts.
Growth rate of 3G/4G subscribers, however, dipped seemingly due to new taxes on internet services by Punjab province that has more than 60% share of all mobile phone subscriptions. Punjab Government, that had announced to reverse the taxes on internet, is still charging taxes on internet as promises for reversal of internet taxes are yet not materialized.
3G and 4G services that picked up amazingly during 2014 saw a downward trend during 2015 earlier on due to SIM re-verification drive — when telcos stopped majority of commercial activities and focused entirely on re-verification of their customers base — and then new taxes broke the tempo of new 3G subscriptions.
Experts said that mobile phone companies aren’t in very good shape after imposition of new taxes. Additionally, ARPU levels are dropping for telcos and hence they have halted or at least slowed down their network expansion plans.
More details about 3G/4G subscribers are presented in below graphics: