Mobile subscriptions keep growing – PTA latest report

Mobile subscriptions keep growing – PTA latest report

Islamabad (May 11, 2012) – For the past many months, the PTA has been updating its telecom database at regular intervals.
The latest data reveals that the mobile subscribers in Pakistan had reached 118.3 million as of March end 2012, an addition of nearly one million subscribers in 9MFY12.
The overall teledensity continues to be driven by the mobile teledensity.

Cellular Mobile Subscriptions in Pakistan as of March 2012

As of March 2012, total teledensity reached 71.6 percent, as the cellular mobile teledensity stood at 68.2 percent.
The teledensities in fixed and wireless local loop remained steady, at 1.8 and 1.6 percent, respectively.
The figure of 118.3 million mobile subscriptions (active beyond 90 days) is phenomenal.
Adoption in age groups above 60 and below 18 and expansion of networks in the unserved and underserved districts has expanded the mobile subscription pie.
According to some estimates, the industry is adding over three million subscribers every month, ten to fifteen percent of which are first time users.
However, due to the phenomena like multiple-sim and mobile number portability, the active customers are believed to be somewhere between 70-80 percent of total subscriptions.
Interestingly, after discounting the total subscriptions by 20 percent and excluding the population below 10 and above 65 years of age, the mobile teledensity clocks in above 75 percent, a formidable number.
The market shares of the MNOs vary with their respective shares in net subscriber acquisitions.
The rankings for March 2012 are the same as prior month, with Zong consolidating its number four position with a market share of 13.24 percent.
Zong has had a great run since June 2008, acquiring nearly 40 percent of the markets new subscriber additions.
Warid has lost out on this front.
The road to 3G is fraught with bumpiness and sharp dips.
In this seemingly incessant saga, now the IT Ministry has launched a full frontal attack on PTA, as the Secretary IT recently accused the PTA of mishandling the auction process and causing the delay.
There has been no official word as yet on the appointment of consultants who will work out the auction modalities afresh.
Meanwhile, the MNOs seem to have shifted their advertising focus from voice to data services, i.e., mobile internet.
The marketers and traders of imported handsets continue to buy expensive airtime for their products.
One wonders if this is a prelude for 3G or a realisation of its withering prospects.
In other developments, the telecom watchdog recently issued a revised regulation draft that outlines the proposed measures to curb fraudulent and obnoxious communications.
The PTA has required the MNOs to establish SOPs for controlling spam and upgrading them on PTAs directives.
The draft requires the operators to maintain grey and black lists of subscribers indulging in fraudulent communication.
The effectiveness of such measures might help reduce spamming from individual subscribers.
However, the unsolicited marketing communication pushed by the telemarketing companies, and also by the MNOs, qualifies as spamming and needs to be reined in by the PTA.

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