The telecom sector generated Rs411 billion as revenue last year and showed an 11% growth compared to 2011. The sector, in view of a challenging economic environment in the country performed relatively better and most telecom indicators showed a positive growth.
Figures from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for 2012 on Tuesday revealed that broadband subscribers crossed the 2.1-million-mark and cellular subscribers crossed 120 million with teledensity of 72%, up from 68% in January.
However, investment remained low in the sector and only $240 million was invested in 2012 compared to $493 million in 2011 as basic telecom infrastructure had already been laid down by the telecom operators.
The telecom sector had been reeling in from a drop in subscribers following tough government directives. In November 2012, PTA banned the sale of new SIM cards through retail networks with effect from December 1. It also instructed mobile operators to block unverified SIM cards and reduce the maximum number issued against a single computerised national identity card (CNIC) to five. The result was a loss of almost 2.7 million subscribers.
Ufone lost more than 500,000 subscriptions in December while Mobilink lost more than 450,000 subscribers. Telenor lost over 245,000 subscribers while Zong lost more than 229,000 customers at the end of December 2012. Warid shed over 211,000 subscribers during the period under review.