Broadband penetration has witness a phenomenal growth in Pakistan after the spectrum auction of 2013. According to the latest data revealed by Dr. Ismail Shah- Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Mobile broadband subscription has exceeded 20 Million subscribers up from 15.7 million just at the end of August 2015. On the other hand, annual mobile teledensity reached 62.5% up from 61.4% previous month.
Growth was not only witnessed in mobile broadband penetration but also in overall mobile penetration where cellular subscription reached 118,943,600 users. Since the last spectrum auction that was held on 23rd April,2013, all mobile operators have been actively involved in expansion and improvement of their respective networks. Along with fast network expansion, all telecom operators have also increased their marketing efforts as well. Variety of packages have been introduced in the market to attract maximum number of customers. In addition, the cost Smart-Phone just touch a very low point where Q-Mobile offerred the cheapest smart phone with a price tag of around Rs. 4000. These Android based smart phones used to cost at around Rs. 60000 just a couple of years back.
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It seems that all telecom operator have devised aggressive business strategies as they are aware of the fact that advancements in technology will enhance the role of smartphones and mobile broadband in consumers’ lives. Therefore, a well formulated strategy today will enable them to capture bigger market tomorrow.
Keeping in mind the current growth and development in Next Generation Technology Evolution, it is safe to say that upcoming auction for remaining spectrum will also be crucial. In the last spectrum auction operators were not able to buy enough spectrum and now with increased demand, next spectrum auction has become imperative. Telenor and Ufone only picked up 5 MHz each in 2100 MHz frequency for 3G networks whereas Zong and Mobilink grabbed good chunk of spectrum in 2100 MHz frequency with Zong also getting 4G spectrum. The next spectrum auction will not only provide an opportunity to Mobilink and Zong to further enhance their respective networks but will also help Ufone and Telenor in catching up with other two.
It is expected that 10 MHz of spectrum in 1800 MHz frequency will be available for upcoming auction along with 10 MHz chunk in 850MHz spectrum vacated by Instaphone which is lying unused for many years now. The transformation that previous spectrum auction brought to the telecom scenario of Pakistan strengthens our belief that next spectrum auction will again bring same results.