Pakistan’s 3G and 4G subscriber base more than doubled over the past nine months to 27.87 million as the country’s nine operators added more than one million high-speed mobile connections per month.
To expand and upgrade their networks operators invested $589 million during the July-March period, with cellular networks accounting for 95 per cent of the investment, the Pakistan Observer reported.
The total number of mobile subscribers fell to 131.4 million, a decrease of about 7 per cent, due to the country’s biometric re-verification of SIMs last year, which has culled millions of users from operators’ books.
The country’s telecoms sector generated PKR333.2 billion ($3.18 billion) in revenue in the first three quarters of fiscal year, with operators paying PKR106 billion to the government in duties and taxes, or 32 per cent of their total turnover. Operators also collected PKR31.2 billion in GST during the nine months from July 2015 to March, according to the government’s Economic Survey.
Revenue growth has picked up since last fiscal year when revenue fell 3 per cent to PKR450 billion from the previous year. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and mobile operators have long called on the central and state governments to reduce taxes on the telecoms sector to spur growth.