Mobile phone imports in Pakistan surge by 7.9%

ISLAMABAD : Mobile phone imports in Pakistan have reached $375.063 million during first half (July-December) of current fiscal year, showing 7.9 percent increase as compared to same period of previous year. Total imports of mobile phone stood at $347.564 million in same period last year.

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), overall telecom imports saw significant decline of 7.43 percent during July-December 2015-16 compared to the same period in last year and total imports were recorded at $695.334 million compared to $751.124 million in same period last year.

Other telecom apparatus import also witnessed significant decline of 20.64 percent during this period as it stood at $320.271 million during July-December (2015-16) against $403.56 million during same period of last year.

The telecom experts on Sunday emphasised the need to ensure more facilities in the area and connectivity coverage may be expanded to under-served and un-served areas of the country.

Meanwhile, mobile phone users in Pakistan have reached 124.24 million at the end of November 2015, after five mobile phone companies added a combined user base of 1.64 million customers during the reported month.

Mobilink leads the charts with 35.67 million customers while Telenor is closing in the gap with 34.24 million subscribers.

Zong has 24.05 million customers at the end of November 2015 while Ufone stood with 19.66 million customers till the time.

Meanwhile, The mobile broadband (3G-4G) subscribers in the country have been increasing consistently and it is evident from ongoing subscription trend that number may cross 25 million mark shortly.

During past five months, 3G-4G subscribers in the country have been surging by a monthly average of 1.6 million.

The figures revealed by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) till November last year confirmed that there are around 21.65 million 3G-4G subscribers with Mobilink leading the sector by scoring 6.8 million total 3G subscribers followed by Telenor, Zong and Ufone who have so far grabbed six million, 4.3 million and four million 3G subscribers respectively.

Whereas, Zong tops the 4G subscriptions with 254,122 users followed by Warid with 192,917 subscribers in total.

A graph depicts a very consistent performance by all four 3G mobile operators and it could be a result of aggressive expansion plan and trend is likely to continue in the following months as well. Launch of 3G handsets by operators may also help increase the subscription in upcoming months.

The 4G subscribers trend showed that Warid remained behind Zong during past five months from July – November 2015, which was the case quite opposite in early months of 2015. Other than mobile broadband, rest of the technologies responsible for broadband penetration in the country seemed to be on a standstill situation in terms of attracting more customers. The largest ISP PTCL’s latest offers for luring new and old customers could only add 50,000 EVO customers and almost equal number of DSL broadband users in month of November 2015.

Total broadband subscribers in the country reached 24.7 million in November 2015 showing a mere 14 percent contribution from other non-mobile broadband technologies including DSL, HFC, WiMax, FTTH, EvDO and others.

Meanwhile, statistics revealed that average data consumed by a 3G user per month is 910MBs while 4G consumers use an average data of around 2GB per month.

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