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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Pakistan crosses 150 million mobile subscribers milestone

News Desk |

Pakistan ended April with 150.1 million mobile subscribers, up from 144.53 million in December 2017, according to a report from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). Pakistan added around 2 million mobile broadband service subscribers in April, ending the month with 55 million users, out of a total 57 million broadband users at end-April.

Mobile operator Jazz led the Pakistani mobile market with over 55.43 million mobile customers at end-April, followed by Telenor (43.48 million), Zong (31.07 million) and Ufone (20.20 million).

According to the report, there are 55 million subscribers of 3G/4g services in the country showing a penetration of 27.01%. The penetration of internet users in the country remains low by international standards, however, it has grown considerably over the past five years.

The revenues of the cellular sector have also shown an increase from last year from 345537 million Rs to 369118 million Rs showing an increase of 6%. However, there has been a decline in investment in the telecom sector. In 2015-16, the investment in telecom sector was 659.4 mn Rs which decreased to 486.1 mn Rs in 2016-17.

Read more: IT Minister sheds light on industry performance

Meanwhile, the Senate Standing Committee on Telecommunications and Information Technology decided to discuss different issues related to the telecom companies in Pakistan.

Senate Standing Committee would follow up on these issues:

  • Cybercrime laws and its implications in Pakistan.
  • The up till progress of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)
  • Collection of taxes from telecom companies by the government.

The advisory group met under the Chairmanship of Senator Rubina Khalid here on yesterday. A meeting to discuss new ideas was held to examine issues. In their last session, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had educated that legal review of all the four versatile organizations would be finished by June 2018.

FBR had made an assessment request of Rs 287 million against a cellphone organization for its inability to legitimize conclusion of expense worth Rs 267 million. The Cellphone organizations asked for settling the duty related issues through elective debate determination systems (ADRCs), rather than courts. Be that as it may, FBR rejected the proposition while saying it isn’t permitted to do as such according to the law.

Read more: Challenges in cyber space & Pakistan’s counter strategy

As per the reports, the growth rate of Pakistan’s telecommunication sector has been impressively fast-paced during the last four years. The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has indeed contributed a lot by bringing Mobile Broadband services – 3G, 4G, LTE, to the country.

Having the fourth most heavily taxed telecom markets in the world, Pakistan managed to collect Rs 1,499.81 billion from the sector in various taxes in 15-years. The telecom sector has become a veritable gold mine for the Pakistani government, attracting millions of new users every month and generating staggering amounts of money from tax revenue. Since 2002-03, the government has pocketed almost Rs 1500 billion from the sector till December 2017.