PTA’s revenue hit Rs850 billion in 2023, access to cellular services reaches 90% in Pakistan

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s revenue swelled to Rs850 billion in 2023, showing a growth of 17% despite economic challenges, PTA chairman retired Major General Hafeezur Rehman informed the caretaker Prime Minister Anwa­arul Haq Kakar on January 26.

The number of telecom subscribers in 2023 reached 192 million, including 59% of Second Generation or 2G (GSM) mobile users, while 41% of them were smartphones.

The PM was informed this in a meeting where the PTA chairman presented 2023 annual report of the authority to him.

“The prime minister was told that the PTA’s revenue increased by 17 percent to Rs850 billion comparing the last year while the access to cellular services in the country has reached 90 percent,” said an official statement issued by the PM Office.

“The number of cellular phone consumers touched 192 million and high-speed broadband users reached 130 million during 2023,” the PTA chief was quoted as saying.

Challenges faced by Telecom sector

The telecom sector’s revenue for foreign investors has declined from $4.84 billion in 2018 to $3.03 billion in 2023, signaling a substantial drop.

The industry faces challenges including:

  • High operational costs
  • Increased energy expenses
  • Interest rate hikes, and
  • Dollar-denominated spectrum payments

Furthermore, Pakistan raised its corporate income tax from 29% to 33% in 2022, resulting in an overall peak of 39%, adding to the sector’s financial pressures.

Mobile manufacturing/assembling in Pakistan accelerates

Mobile manufacturing and assembling in Pakistan accelerated in 2023 according to the latest data shared by PTA.

  • Pakistan manufactured or assembled around 21.3 million mobile sets last year
  • The country imported 1.58 million mobile phones in 2023
  • Around 93.1% of the phones were locally manufactured or assembled during this time
  • Only around 6.9% of mobile phones were imported
  • Around 13 million Second Generation or 2G mobile phones were manufactured or assembled during this time
  • About 8.28 million phones manufactured or assembled were smartphones

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