Telecom sector has shown positive growth during the first two quarters of the fiscal year 2017-18, revealed the Economic Survey 2017-18 released on Thursday.
The sector has not only witnessed steady growth but has also contributed huge sums to the national exchequer.
Revenues from the telecom sector reached an estimated Rs. 235.5 billion during the first two quarters of FY 2017-18. The commercial launch of 3G and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services has opened new opportunities for revenue generation for the mobile operators.
The availability of 3G and 4G services has enabled development of new applications and database services, and people of the country are quickly adapting to these new technologies and services.
Note: Figures for the FY 2017 and Jul-Dec 2018 are estimated.
In terms of overall investment in the telecom sector, the momentum that started in FY 2012-13 for the up-gradation of telecom networks for 3G and 4G services has continued.
Telecom operators have invested millions during the first two quarters of the fiscal year 2017-18. The main driver behind this investment is the cellular mobile sector which has invested US $267.94 million during the first two quarters of 2017-18.
Telecom Sector Contribution
Telecom sector is a significant source of revenue generation for the national exchequer. During the first two quarters of the fiscal year 2017-18, the telecom sector contributed an estimated Rs 78.62 billion to the national exchequer in terms of taxes, regulatory fees, initial and annual license fees, activation tax, and other charges.
- Figures for 2015-16 and Jul-Dec 16 are estimated
- PTA’s contributions comprise of all its receipts including Initial and Annual License Fees, Annual Radio Frequency Spectrum Fee, Annual Spectrum Administrative Fee, USF and R&D Fund Contributions, APC for USF, Numbering Charges, License Application Fee, etc.
- Others include custom duties, WHT and other taxes.
- Source: Federal Board of Revenue and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.
By the end of December 2017, the total number of mobile subscriptions in Pakistan reached 144.53 million with the net addition of 4.77 million subscribers during July 2017 to December 2017. Biometric re-verification of SIMs in 2014-15 had an adverse impact on the cellular subscriber base. However, the industry has survived through the tough period and continues to regain subscribers at a fast pace and the mobile subscriptions have risen to 147.5 million by the end of February 2018.
3G and 4G LTE subscribers have reached 48.19 million at the end of December 2017 as compared to 42 million as of June 2017 which shows that on average there have been more than one million new subscriptions to 3G & 4G LTE services per month.
More coverage and reduced tariffs have further increased the pace of 3G and 4G LTE subscriptions which stood at 51.2 million by the end of February 2018.
Broadband subscriber base showed strong growth during July 2017 to December 2017. At the end of December 2017, broadband subscribers stood at 50.51 million as compared to 44.59 million at the end of last fiscal year. The number of net subscriber additions in the period stood at 6 million. By the end of February 2018, total mobile broadband subscribers were 53.5 million.
Total teledensity reached 72.7 percent at the end of 2nd quarter of FY 2017-18, compared to 72.5 percent at the end of last fiscal year. The prime driver of teledensity rise is the growth in cellular mobile subscribers and the teledensity as of February 2018 is 74.2 percent.