ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Telecom Sector contributed over 96 billion to the national exchequer in terms of taxes, duties, and levies, attracted investments to the tune of US$636 million while sector revenue crossed Rs 552 billion, according to Annual Report 2018-2019 issued by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
The Telecom Sector attracted US$ 236 million Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during the year.
The annual report presents a comprehensive overview of the PTA and telecommunication sector’s performance for the year 2018-19. The PTA annual report is a regular feature under Section 18 of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority act, 1996, depicting performance over the previous year.
As per the PTA annual report, the Telecom Sector continued to grow positively in terms of subscription, revenues, and teledensity.
The Sector showed steady growth in subscribers and total subscribers and the total subscriber base increased to 163.5 million at the end of FY 2018-19, showing a year-on-year growth of 7%. The total teledensity reached 77.7% where the main contribution is by the mobile sector with penetration crossing 76.4%.
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Pakistan has over 44,919 cell sites covering the length and breadth of the Country. Subscription & usage of Broadband service in the Country has seen exponential growth. The data usage over broadband networks was 2,545PB for FY 2018-19 from 1,207PB in FY 2017-18 showing a growth of 113%.
In order to promote the latest technologies, the PTA took a number of initiatives. To set the stage for the launch of 5G technology in the future, the PTA unveiled plans for tests and trials of 5G which is expected to reshape the technological, social and economic landscape of Pakistan.
The authority as a regulator kept playing its role prudently by ensuring an open, competitive, fair and well-regulated sector. It has made a meaningful contribution to the national economy by restricting the import of mobile devices through grey channels by implementing the Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS).
Resultantly, the import of mobile phones through illegal channels has minimized and FBR’s revenues increased exponentially.
The implementation of DIRBS also created an incentive for local assembly/manufacture of mobile phones.
The PTA has been working closely with the State Bank of Pakistan for enhancing digital payments
Expanding 4G coverage, promoting broadband connectivity, availability of additional spectrum, affordable 4G handsets, addressing Right of Way (RoW) issues, expanding fiber connectivity, improved Quality of Service (QoS) parameters, ensuring better coverage, and 5G technology testing and preparations will continue to be PTA’s priority areas in the current year.
The PTA annual report can be accessed online through the PTA website: http://pta.gov.pk