GROWTH IN TELECOM SECTOR
HISTORY OF MOBILE SECTOR IN PAKISTAN:
Cellular mobile services in Pakistan commenced in 90s when two cellular mobile telephonelicenses were awarded to Paktel and Pak Com (Instaphone) for provision of cellular mobiletelephony in Pakistan.Four years ago, when the telecom sector was deregulated, Pakistan’s teledensity was only 4.3percent, which now stands at 45.1 percent. This report casts a glance at the unprecedentedgrowth of the cellular sector in (July-June) fiscal year 2007 and envisages the future growthprospects of this sector.The number of cellular users grew by a massive 83 percent to 63 million in the country, makingPakistan one of the world’s fastest growing telecom markets. Neighboring country India also hada similar growth phenomenon as it witnessed 73 percent growth in cellular subscribers over theyear.After the arrival of Warid and Telenor, a strong growth and a stressful competition has been seenin the telecom industry. Telenor and Warid, registered 200 percent and 118 percent growth intheir subscriber base in FY07, respectively. They were followed by Ufone and Mobilink with 87percent and 54 percent growth, respectively. On the other hand, the other two service providersPaktel and Interphone remained laggard.Currently there are six cellular players in the market. There has been a tremendous growth inCellular market. By the end of 2007 cellular mobile services were available in 7011 cities/townsand villages.
Telecom industry has shown significant improvement since its liberalization was initiated inJanuary 2004, with an unprecedented growth in mobile sector.Pakistan, over this period has remained fastest growing domestic market across Asia althoughother regional countries are performing well but, Pakistan has been experiencing more than150% continuous growth rate for last two years, which is unseen elsewhere.Mobile sector which is now driven by lowest tariffs, maximum coverage, and relatively betterquality the Pakistan mobile market maintained rapid growth during 2007. The newly deregulatedmobile market is now working on sustaining the mobile boom that hit Pakistan 2 years back andon the brink of adding Value Added Services to increase ARPU along with customersatisfactions.Currently, the mobile sector is undergoing intense competition among the six mobile operators.In this scenario and in the best interest of their long term sustainability, mobile operators are nowforming strategies driven towards being at lowest cost, extensive network coverage andconnectivity, innovative products and segmentation. Value Added Services have becomeimportant over last two years.