The only sector growing in Pakistan is the cellular industry where some 8.62 million subscribers have been added during the first 9 months of fiscal year 2011-2012 from July 2011 to March 2012. The total subscriber base has reached to 118.316 million by March 2012.
According to PTA’s statistics, teledensity in the country at the end of 3rd quarter of FY 2011-2012 has reached 68.2 percent.
Although, number of activated SIMs are lesser than the total figure of subscriber base that PTA has released but according to watch dog, people prefer to keep multiple SIMs owing to various attractive call and SMS packages offered by all the cellular operators. Mobile phones with multi-SIM capability is helping new and existing customers keep number of SIMs at the same time.
Another phenomenon that has become the driving force for increase in cellular subscriber base despite of economic crunch is the penetration of cellular networks in the rural areas – a practice originally started by Telenor when it started operations in Pakistan – along with the availability of cheap Chinese mobile phones that have captured 50% of mobile phone market in Pakistan.
As the competition among cellular operators is increasing, it would be interesting to see how they perform the last quarter of the FY 2011-2012.
On average, some 0.95 million customers are being added every month and if trend remains the same, 2.85 million subscribers will be further added making total annual addition to 11.47 million.
Following is the chart showing the number of subscribers that each cellular operator is having as on March 2012.