Are Mobile Operator Tariffs Increasing? PTA Comes Clean

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has clarified that a certain news item that appeared in a section of media claiming that the regulator is not allowing an increase in tariffs of mobile operators is incorrect and misleading

The PTA has clarified that it only regulates tariffs for the dominant mobile operator in Pakistan i.e. PMCL (Jazz) in line with Significant Market Player (SMP) determination and Jazz-Warid Merger condition with the aim to prevent any anti-competitive practices by the market leader. Whereas, the rest of the Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) are free to set their tariffs as per their commercial considerations, and PTA does not intervene in their tariff changes.

During the month of June 2022, the telecom regulator approved all 25 tariff proposals submitted by Jazz with an average price increase of 14 percent, keeping in view the increasing operational costs of the company. Other operators have also increased their tariffs, such as Ufone which increased tariffs of its 42 packages by an average of 16.4 percent in June 2022.

PTA remarks that telecom customers in Pakistan have been enjoying one of the most affordable telecom services in the world due to the competitive telecom market and progressive policies and regulations. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Inclusive Internet Index 2022 shows that Pakistan has improved 15 points in the affordability ranking, where it was at 78th position in 2021 and improved to 63rd in 2022, performing better than Bangladesh (64th).

The regulator noted that due to competition, Pakistan’s cellular mobile industry is a low ARPU market with an average ARPU per month of Rs. 215 in FY2021, which has slightly increased to Rs. 220 in FY2022 (Jul 21 to Mar 2022).

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