Pakistan’s telecom sector sees a 129% rise in 2020, contributes ₨. 278b to economy

A surge in demand for telecom services due to the COVID-19 lockdown resulted in significant growth for the sector.

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The telecom sector has emerged as a prominent contributor to Pakistan’s economy.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector’s contribution to the national exchequer increased by 129% in 2020, compared to 2019.

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In its annual report released on Friday, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) disclosed that the sector contributed ₨. 278 billion in FY 2020, compared to ₨. 121 billion in FY 2019.

A surge in demand for telecom services due to the COVID-19 lockdown resulted in significant growth for the sector.

Currently, the data usage stands at 4,498 Peta Bytes (FY2020), compared to 2,545 Peta Bytes in FY 2019 that shows a growth of over 77%.

According to the PTA, substantial growth would not have been possible if the networks were not upgraded.

At present, Pakistan has international bandwidth connectivity of 3.1 TeraBytes and around 47,000 cell sites, of which 90% are 4G enabled sites.

According to the PTA, telecom networks are currently available to 87% of the population. The PTA is working with operators to increase their network coverage for the remaining 13%.

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The report’s further details reveal that the total teledensity now stands at 82% with over 172 million mobile subscribers and 2.2 million fixed-line subscribers.

It has also been learned that the government’s revenue increased manifolds due to the introduction of the Device Identification & Registration System for handset imports.

Moreover, handsets’ local manufacturing has enlivened the telecom ecosystem, with growth in local 4G device manufacturing crossing 34%.

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