Pakistan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Pakistan’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the Telecoms Infrastructure, mobile, fixed broadband, Digital Media and Digital Economy sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Regional market comparisons
  • Telecoms Maturity Index
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FTTH, DSL);
  • Internet of Things, 5G developments
  • Mobile, broadband and mobile broadband forecasts to 2023.

Researcher:- Phil Harpur
Current publication date:- October 2018 (24th Edition)

Executive Summary

The fixed line market struggles as Pakistan moves towards 5G

Pakistan’s telecom market has been struggling for a long time with the transition from a regulated state-owned monopoly to a deregulated competitive structure. Foreign investment has been an important factor in Pakistan’s telecom sector.

The fixed line market in Pakistan remains underdeveloped due to the dominance of the mobile segment. Further, the number of fixed telephone lines is slowly declining as the mobile segment continues to expand. The market is predicted to decline further over the next five years to 2023 as the mobile segment continues to grow for both voice and data/broadband usage.

The struggling fixed-line market in Pakistan is dominated by Pakistan Telecommunications Company Ltd (PTCL). The only other provider with a significant customer base is NTC.

Examples of IoT applications in Pakistan are solar-powered home services enabling rural households outside of the grid to power TV sets, mobile phone chargers and other electronic devices. Mobile operator Zong launched the ‘Zong 4G Smart Car’ solution in Islamabad.

Fixed broadband penetration in Pakistan remains very low mainly due to the dominance of the mobile platform. Also, the limited and declining number of fixed lines in Pakistan is restricting more widespread development of fixed broadband. Over the next five years to 2023 low growth is expected from this small base.

DSL dominates the fixed broadband market. Its market share has been rising over the past five years. HFC and FTTH have also seen rising numbers, however each still constitute for a very low market share of the overall fixed broadband market.

The size of Pakistan’s e-commerce sector is expected to cross the $1-billion mark by the end of 2018. Higher smartphone and broadband penetration coupled with increased number of online payment merchants expand both the total serviceable market of customers and the availability of online purchases. However there still are a number of factors that are inhibiting adoption including lack of awareness in both consumers and merchants and issues with customer fulfillment.

Pakistan’s mobile market has experienced moderate growth over the last six years. Mobile growth opportunities in Pakistan have been very substantial due to a young population and rising penetration of mobile services. Slow to moderate growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023. The market will be constrained from higher growth due to very strong local competition.

The country’s mobile operators are all fighting for a larger share of the market, forcing down prices and subsequently Average Revenue Per Unit (ARPU). The operators have been shifting their focus to Value Added Services (VAS) in order to improve revenues.

Mobilink and Warid merged their operations into a single brand, Jazz, which saw the number of mobile operators reduce from six to five. Further market consolidation is predicted over the next five years as the operating margins of the major operators come under further pressure.

Pakistan has seen a dramatic increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past five years. However, the mobile broadband market is still at an early stage of development with penetration well below most other Asian countries. Strong growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023, driven by further adoption of 4G and eventually 5G services.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had been instructed by the federal government to begin the process of conducting 5G tests and trials. Pakistan’s MoIT is aiming to introduce commercial 5G services before 2020.

Key Developments

  • Rapid roll out of 4G networks has seen strong uptake of mobile broadband.
  • The fixed line market remains underdeveloped due to the dominance of the mobile segment.
  • The fixed line market is predicted to decline further over the next five years to 2023.
  • Fixed broadband penetration in Pakistan remains very low mainly due to the dominance of the mobile platform.
  • E-commerce in Pakistan will be a US$1 billion market by 2020.
  • Pakistan’s MoIT is aiming to introduce commercial 5G services before 2020.

Key companies mentioned in this report:

Pakistan Telecommunication Co Ltd (PTCL); Ufone (PTML, PTCL’s subsidiary); Telenor Pakistan; Warid Telecom; Zong; WorldCall; TeleCard; PakNet; Wateen Telecom (subsidiary of Warid Telecom); Mobilink; NayaTel; Wi-Tribe; National Telecommunications Corp (NTC), Instaphone

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key statistics
    • 1.1 Country overview
  • 2. Telecommunications market
    • 2.1 Market overview and analysis
      • 2.1.1 Background
    • 2.2 Regional Asian Market Comparison
    • 2.3 Revenue and investment levels
    • 2.4 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
  • 3. Regulatory environment
    • 3.1 Overview
    • 3.2 Regulatory authorities
      • 3.2.1 Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT)
      • 3.2.2 Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)
      • 3.2.3 National Telecommunications Corp (NTC)
      • 3.2.4 North Waziristan Agency (NWA)
      • 3.2.5 Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)
    • 3.3 Government policies
    • 3.4 Access
    • 3.5 Universal Service Fund (USF)
    • 3.6 Regulatory developments
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Fixed Network Subscribers by Operator
    • 4.2 Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL)
    • 4.3 WorldCall group
    • 4.4 TeleCard
    • 4.5 Wateen Telecom
  • 5. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 5.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 5.2 Fixed line statistics
      • 5.2.1 Payphones and Public Call Offices (PCOs)
    • 5.3 New developments
      • 5.3.1 Fibre Networks
      • 5.3.2 USF Telecentre Project
    • 5.4 International infrastructure
      • 5.4.1 Satellite networks
      • 5.4.2 Submarine Cable Networks
      • 5.4.3 International gateways
      • 5.4.4 International Fibre Optic Links
    • 5.5 Specific IT developments
      • 5.5.1 Data Centres
    • 5.6 Smart Infrastructure
      • 5.6.1 Internet of Things (IoT)
      • 5.6.2 Smart Cities
      • 5.6.3 Smart Grids
  • 6. Broadband market
    • 6.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 6.1.1 Market overview and analysis
      • 6.1.2 ISP market
      • 6.1.3 Broadband statistics and market forecast
    • 6.2 Fixed broadband service providers
      • 6.2.1 Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL)
    • 6.3 Stormfiber
    • 6.4 Fixed broadband technologies
      • 6.4.1 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
      • 6.4.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 6.4.3 Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH)
      • 6.4.4 Fixed wireless
      • 6.4.5 Other fixed broadband services
  • 7. Digital economy
    • 7.1 e-Commerce
      • 7.1.1 Overview
    • 7.2 e-Government
    • 7.3 e-Education
  • 8. Digital media
    • 8.1 Broadcasting
    • 8.2 Videostreaming
    • 8.3 VoIP
  • 9. Mobile communications
    • 9.1 Market overview and analysis
    • 9.2 Mobile statistics
      • 9.2.1 Market statistics and market forecast
      • 9.2.2 Mobile voice
      • 9.2.3 Mobile broadband statistics and market forecast
    • 9.3 Regulatory issues
      • 9.3.1 Spectrum auctions – 2014 - 2017
      • 9.3.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 9.3.3 Other developments
    • 9.4 Mobile infrastructure
      • 9.4.1 5G
    • 9.5 Major mobile operators
      • 9.5.1 Statistics by operators
      • 9.5.2 PMCL (Jazz)
      • 9.5.3 Ufone (PTCL)
      • 9.5.4 Telenor Pakistan
      • 9.5.5 Zong
      • 9.5.6 Special Communication Organisation (SCO)
      • 9.5.7 Historic - Instaphone (Pakcom)
      • 9.5.8 MVNOs
    • 9.6 Mobile content and applications
      • 9.6.1 m-commerce / m-banking
      • Table 1 – Country Statistics, Major Operators and Telco Authorities – 2018 (e)
      • Table 2 – Top Level Country Statistics – 2018 (e)
      • Table 3 – Pakistan’s telecom revenues (PKR million) by category –- 2004 - 2017
      • Table 4 – Historic - Pakistan’s telecom investment – total and mobile - 2004 - 2016
      • Table 5 – Historic - Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in telecom sector – 2002 - 2016
      • Table 6 – ‘Fixed-line’ licences issued by PTA
      • Table 7 – Fixed local line subscribers by operator– 2017
      • Table 8 – Fixed-line (WLL) subscribers by operator – 2017
      • Table 9 – Historic - Fixed-line (wireless) subscribers by operator – 2015
      • Table 10 – PTCL fixed-line subscribers – 2000 - 2017
      • Table 11 – Historic – fixed-line subscribers and penetration – 1991 - 2006
      • Table 12 – Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration – 2007 – 2018
      • Table 13 – Fixed line subscribers – 2004 – 2017
      • Table 14 – Fixed wireless (WLL) subscribers – 2005 – 2017
      • Table 15 – Public Call Offices (PCOs) – 1999 – 2016
      • Table 16 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers (with Forecast) – 2008 - 2023
      • Table 17 – Fixed Broadband subscribers by access type – 2012 - 2018
      • Table 18 – Fixed Broadband market share by access type – 2012 - 2018
      • Table 19 – Fixed Broadband market annual growth by access type – 2013 - 2018
      • Table 20 – Total international internet bandwidth – 2004 - 2018
      • Table 21 – Lit/Equipped International Bandwidth Capacity – 2013 – 2018
      • Table 22 – Historical - internet users – 1995 - 2006
      • Table 23 – Internet Users and Penetration – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 24 – Historic - dial-up internet subscribers – 2005 - 2011
      • Table 25 – PTCL broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2016
      • Table 26 – Cable modem subscribers – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 27 – DSL broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 28 – FTTH subscribers – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 29 – WiMAX subscribers – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 30 – Historic - Key broadcasting statistics - 2016
      • Table 31 – Percentage of Population Covered by Type of Mobile Network
      • Table 32 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 – 2023
      • Table 33 – Historic - mobile subscribers – 1995 - 2005
      • Table 34 – Historic - Mobile services revenue – 1998 - 2016
      • Table 35 – Mobile services revenue – 2004 - 2017
      • Table 36 – Historic - Proportion of prepaid mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2016
      • Table 37 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 - 2023
      • Table 38 – Mobile operators and systems
      • Table 39 –Mobile subscribers (millions) by operator – 2009 - 2018
      • Table 40 –Mobile subscriber market share by operator – 2009 - 2018
      • Table 41 –Mobile subscribers by operator, annual change – 2014 - 2018
      • Table 42 – Mobile subscribers (millions) by operator and 3G, 4G - 2018
      • Table 43 – Mobile subscribers (millions) by operator and 3G, 4G - 2017
      • Table 44 – Historic - 3G, 4G and LTE mobile subscribers by operator – 2016
      • Table 45 – Historic - 3G, 4G and LTE mobile subscribers by operator – 2015
      • Table 46 – Mobilink mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2018
      • Table 47 – Historic - Warid Telecom subscribers – 2005 - 2016
      • Table 48 – Ufone (PTCL) subscribers – 2001 - 2018
      • Table 49 – Telenor Pakistan subscribers – 2005 - 2018
      • Table 50 – Historic - Telenor Pakistan - ARPU – 2009 - 2014
      • Table 51 – CMPak (Zong) mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2018
      • Table 52 – Historic - Instaphone (Pakcom) subscribers – 2000 - 2010
      • Chart 1 – Mobile, Mobile Broadband & Fixed Broadband Penetration – 2018; 2023
      • Chart 2 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index by Market Category
      • Chart 3 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
      • Chart 4 –Telecoms Maturity Index – Central Asia
      • Chart 5 - Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration – 2007 - 2018
      • Chart 6 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers (with Forecast) - 2007 - 2023
      • Chart 7 - Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 - 2022
      • Chart 8 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 - 2023
      • Exhibit 1 – Key Market Characteristics by Market Segment
      • Exhibit 2 – Central Asia -Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country

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