As per the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Pakistan is the fourth country in the world where average monthly cost of running a mobile phone is quite reasonable as compared to rest of the world, regardless of being the eighth highest taxation telecom sector in the world. An average monthly cost in Pakistan is Rs 222.41 ($2.21) only.
Pakistan Stands Fourth in Average Monthly Call Charges: ITU
Sri Lanka stands number one with $0.97 monthly cost of running a mobile phone whereas Bangladesh and Iran rank second and third with monthly average cost of $1.42 and $2.01 correspondingly.
Mobile companies have invested cumbersome capex to attain new generation technologies’ licenses in 2014 but hesitant regulatory policies of Pakistani incumbent have limited the operator’s return on investment prospects.
According to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), there has been substantial increase in the cellular to cellular traffic as operators carry on to provide more minutes per rupee due to rivalry and intimidation of over-the-top (OTT) services.
PTA revealed in its report that cellular mobile services are the pillar of the telecom industry of Pakistan, which experienced revolutionary changes last year. On one hand launch of 3G and 4G LTE services gave a boost to the cellular sector generating new income opportunities for the operators, but the biometric re-verification drive instantly after the 3G and 4G launch demoted the potential user pool by millions.
GSMA’s survey revealed that Pakistan positions number eight amongst 110 countries in terms of consumer taxes as a proportion of Total Cost of Mobile Ownership (TCMO) which is the costs abided by subscribers in order to own and use a mobile phone. It also states that in developing markets, there remain many hurdles that deliberate mobile adoption, specifically in the case of mobile broadband. Dearth of network infrastructure, affordability and taxation of services, low levels of literacy and digital skills, and a lack of local content may avert countries from understanding the reimbursements for mobile access.