For the first time, smartphone users have exceeded 2G mobile phone users according to the 2021 annual report of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has revealed.
According to the report, smartphones accounted for 52% of the market in 2021 versus 48% of 2G phone users. In 2017, 2G phone users accounted for 60% of the market share.
Where local assembly of mobile phones is concerned, the number of 2G devices assembled in the country remained higher than smartphones last year. Over 14.6 million 2G devices in 2021 were assembled compared to 10 million smartphones.
The import of mobile phones dropped to 10 million in 2021 compared to 24.6 million phones assembled locally. The number of mobile phone imports stood at 24.5 million in 2020.
The number of broadband subscribers also crossed 100 million last year and reached 102.7 million, which played a central role in increasing the telecom sector’s revenue.
On the other hand, access to telecom and ICT services also increased last year as nearly 89% of the country’s total population now has access to them.
49% of the population now has mobile broadband connections. The broadband data usage increased by 52% and reached 6,855 petabytes in 2021. As a result, the revenue of the telecom sector broke all records and reached Rs. 644 billion last year.
Besides, 30 companies, including Samsung, obtained licenses to produce phones in the country in 2021, which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the long term.
Lastly, digital financial inclusion increased massively last year as well, with the number of active mobile wallets reaching 46 million which is an increase of 72% from the 26.7 million wallets in 2020. Similarly, the number of active mobile wallet agents also recorded an increase of 35% in 2021.