Telcos to Prefer Punjab Over Sindh, KPK for 3G/4G Network Expansion

Mobile phone companies are going to put more focus on Punjab for their 3G and 4G network expansions as compared to Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, we have learned through background interviews with various officials of telecom operators.

Mobile phone companies, who won’t admit the fact publicly, are now going prefer Punjab over Sindh and KPK for their 3G and 4G network expansion as both Sindh and KPK are charging higher internet tax rate of 18.5% and 19.5% respectively on data services, the main product of 3G and 4G networks.

This tax is making data services expensive in both Sindh and KPK and ultimately internet uptake is likely to be slower in both the provinces as compared to Punjab.

Telcos told ProPakistani that investments in Punjab make more sense for them as returns from the province are going to be higher as compared to two other provinces because Punjab slashed 19.5% internet tax and effectively made internet almost 20% cheaper as compared to rest of the provinces.

No tax means cheaper internet and hence more service usage by masses, which is exactly why investing in Punjab is more lucrative for telecom operators as compared to other provinces.

“Mobile phone companies aren’t alone in preferring Punjab for investments, for instance if you look at Haier, whose owners are originally from KPK, they established their mobile phone assembly plant in Punjab and not in KPK due to special tax incentives that Punjab agreed to give to the company”, said an official of a mobile phone company.

“Only a mad-man will open a shop at a place where commodities are expensive for customers due to taxes”

“While we are national companies and we just can’t prioritize provinces, but at the same time it is essential for our businesses to calculate ROI before investing in any city or province for that matter”, the official explained.

Another expert said that provinces are more independent now, especially after 18th amendment, and this should act as an opportunity for provinces to grab more investments by incentivizing businesses.

“A long-term vision could be to offer special incentives (say tax-holiday) for businesses, tech companies for instance, and all the tech giants and startups will at once shift to that province. Which might curtail the revenues of the province for some time, but new jobs, business activity and investments are going to compensate that tax-loss manifold within just few years”, explained the expert.

Another market expert said that after first two years of 3G/4G launch and particularly because of low returns, operators will get only more cautious about their selection of cities and provinces for 3G and 4G network expansions.

“Only a mad-man will open a shop at a place where commodities are expensive for customers due to taxes”, said the official.

KPK is consistently urged to slash internet tax of 19.5% that it charges on all sorts of internet including DSL, WiMAX, EvDO, 3G and 4G.

But since both Sindh and KPK are putting deaf ears on such demands, people from these provinces are ultimately going to bear the brunt in longer run.

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


  • Haha lame it is because punjab is more populated thus more customers equals more revenue thats the reason. Tax is just An excuse to pta.

    • The population is an added plus to the low taxes in punjab.
      Its like centaurus mall being sold for rs.5000 ! (In a teleco’s perspective)

        • Zong packages are 5 to 25 rupees per day, 70 rupees for a week, 50 to 3500 for a month. So there are packages for different needs. And you don’t need a lot of data for day-to-day tasks. Not to mention there are 2 GB Daytime and Nighttime offers for 6 rupees. So 1500/2000 statement is quite ignorant when you consider the packages available and data requirements of people (Not everyone wants 20,30 GB a month and internet throughout the month)

  • Another main reason is Mobile snatching in Sindh …Karachi is more densely populated then Lahore and any other city in Punjab …

  • Pata nhn Qaim Ali Shah kab bhaang k nashe se jaage ga pata nhn kab hamein PPP se azaadi mile gi
    Punjab is the best jab b ghoomne jao to dil nhn bharta and now planning to move on lahore ?

    • 1971 Apko to Ni Ap k bAro ko to Yaaad hoga ? esy hi sab Kuch Punjab me Lagta raha to Apko ni to Ap k Bacho ko esy or 1971 Zaroor Dekhne ko Milenge.

      • Punjab main jo bhi kaam hote hain wo yahan ki provincial government kerwati hai. Baqi provinces main agar khuch nhi hota to wo wahan ki governments ka kasoor hai, na k Punjab ki government ka.
        Aur 1971 ki tragedy main buhat sara part military k end pai tha.

        • apki baat kisi had tak sai ha, lekin awaam ko to yehi kaha jaraha ha na k Punjab wale hmara haq maar rae han specialy karachi ki awam ko :D

          • Phir Karachi ki awaam pagal hogi. Jab Fedral aur provincial Govt dono PPP Aur MQM ki thi tab wahan kaam nahin hua to kab hoga. But vote phir b unhi ko dene hayn. Parhay likhay jahil

  • Why does it so difficult for some to understand that punjab comprises of more then 60% of overall Pakistan’s population hence its the most densly populated province of Pakistan. So telcos as a business going to make the investment where they can target the maximum population with their network first before they move to other areas.

    I am sure a telecom tower will cover far more people in punjab then say in baluchistan and telco’s probably have already done their homework.

    • Wrong
      Many areas in punjab have limited availability specially in rural areas. Even people in rural areas of punjab use mobile internet on their Qkyu mobiles.There are still some places where even no mobilink or ufone tower and this opportunity now avail by zong warid etc.
      From one aspect you are right but that is not the only factor to count.
      Taxes, policies, stability, infrastructure development , availability of human capital and yes customers….

  • It makes sense. Tomorrow, other provinces will cry that all share is taken by Punjab but in reality…Punjab govts. are still working better than others…but ppl comment on jealousy and racism basis… no matter their govts. just enjoyed perks and invested nothing in province infrastructure. All provinces get good share of revenue but don’t invest back in same proportion.

  • Its open truth the governance in Punjab is must better than other provinces but it is still not what is expected and required which I really want to be do more in this case. They best among other as others are not doing anything they are doing something.

  • Goverment ne Punjab me internet tax khatm to kar dya ha magr sab mobile compny walo ke internet packegs to wohi phaly waly tax waly mehngy ha.is ke ilawa 3G/4G ke coverage to new cities me punchaty nahi ha bs 2 month me sirf ak ya 2 new cities add karty ha.ya boht slow kam kar rahy ha me apko apni bat batata hun 6 month hogaye me sab compnies ko kahta hun ke hamary area me 3G/4G ke coverage jaldi poncha dain magr abi tak kisi bhi compny ke hamary area me na to 3G ha or na hi 4G bs yahi reply ata ha ap wait karin kam tazi sy jari ha apke area me bhi boht jald ajaye gi. ise lye hamara punjab 3G/4G field me prograss nahi kar raha..


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