Fast Market Research recommends "Pakistan Telecommunications Report Q3 2013" from Business Monitor International, now available
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/03/2013 -- Pakistan's telecommunications market is one of the most underdeveloped in Asia Pacific. At the end of 2011, Pakistan had the region's second lowest mobile penetration rate, a situation that is also similar in the fixed-line and broadband sectors. Additionally, the regulator has yet to auction 3G licences, leaving mobile operators dependent on basic 2G voice and SMS as well as organic subscriber growth for revenue generation. This leaves Pakistan with significant room for growth, although the potential could materialise only in the medium-to-long term.
- Pakistan's mobile sector continued to fluctuate due to events such as restrictions on SIM sales through retail channels. The market recorded net additions of 1.8mn subscribers in H212 followed by net losses of 984,000 in the two months ended February 2013.
- Mobile broadband solutions, particularly EV-DO, continued to outperform and should overtake DSL in the next few years. EV-DO accounted for 35.2% of the broadband market in January 2013, behind DSL's 38.6% market share.
- Operators' ARPUs are expected to continue trending downwards due to the reliance on 2G services and rural expansions as well as government-enforced network outages in light of security concerns.
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Key Trends And Developments
At the time of writing, the Pakistani government was yet to announce a concrete date for the auction of 3G licences. The government's stated plan is to issue licences by end-2013, but it remains to be seen if it can adhere to its deadline.
Pakistan's Universal Service Fund (USF) approved in mid-February 2013 a project to connect the country's rural regions to the main hospitals in cities by expanding the telemedicine network. Pakistan has been adopting telemedicine as a complementary strategy to strengthen its healthcare system, particularly increasing the rural population's access to healthcare, which is a major issue in emerging markets. BMI sees the possibility of greater participation from the private sector. China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak) re-applied for a long-distance and international (LDI) licence in Pakistan as well as Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in April 2013. The watch-hold period of the government for granting LDI licences to new operators was concluded on March 23; hence CMPak is now eligible to secure the already approved LDI licence by the Ministry of Information, according to a letter by the CEO Advisor to CMPak.
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