According to the Annual Report 2018-2019 issued by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), 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. The sector attracted USD 236 million FDI during the year. The Annual Report presents a comprehensive overview of the PTA and telecommunication sector’s performance for the year 2018-19. PTA Annual Report is a regular feature under section 18 of the Pakistan Telecom Reorganization Act, 1996, depicting performance over the previous year.
Import of Mobile Phones through illegal Channels Minimized and FBR’s Revenues Increased by DIRBS- PTA
As per PTA Annual Report, telecom sector continued to grow positively in terms of subscription, revenues and teledensity. The sector showed steady growth in subscribers and total subscriber base increased to 163.5 million at the end of FY 2018-19, showing a year-on-year growth of 7%. Total teledensity reached 77.7% where the main contribution is by the mobile sector with penetration crossing 76.4%. Pakistan has over 44,919 cell sites covering the length and breadth of the country. Subscription and usage of Broadband service in the country have seen exponential growth. Data usage over broadband networks was 2,545 PB for FY 2018-19 from 1, 207 PB in FY 2017-18 showing a year-on-year growth of 113%.
In order to promote the latest technologies, PTA took a number of initiatives. To set the stage for the launch of 5G technology in future, PTA unveiled plans for tests and trials of 5G which is expected to reshape the technological, social and economic landscape of Pakistan.
To set the stage for the launch of 5G technology in future, PTA unveiled plans for tests and trials of 5G
PTA as a regulator kept playing its role prudently by ensuring an open, competitive, fair and well-regulated sector. PTA has made a meaningful contribution to the national economy by restricting the import of mobile devices through grey channels by implementing Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS).
Resultantly, import of mobile phones through illegal channels has been minimized and FBR’s revenues increased exponentially by DIRBS. Implementation of DIRBS has also created an incentive for local assembly/manufacture of mobile phones. PTA has also been working very closely with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for enhancing digital payments.
Expanding 4G coverage through latest technology, promoting broadband connectivity, availability of additional spectrum to mobile operators, 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.