Cellular phone subscription grows 100% in FY11 -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Cellular phone subscription grows 100% in FY11

By: Muhammad Yasir

KARACHI: The cellular phone subscribers of mobile phone carriers witnessed more than 100 percent growth in the closing fiscal year of 2010-11 with addition of 9.7 million new connections despite unending competition and severe regulatory measures in the sector.

Pakistan Telecommuni-cation Authority (PTA) statistics updated on Wednesday said the subscribers’ base have reached 108.8 million by the end of June 2011 as compared with previous year’s standing at 99.185 million.

The tele-density of the cellular sector has seen growth of 5 percent in the outgoing financial year 2010-11 to reach 65.4 percent.

Analysts said the multiple subscriptions trends of users have supported the growth of cellular phone connections, as operators’ on-net call packages and short message service (SMS) bundles and low subscriber identity module (SIM) rate attracted them for utilising maximum voice and text services. They said the dual SIMs handsets are playing a role of catalyst in thriving cellular phone subscribers’ base in country, which witnessed remarkable widening despite saturation of the sector in major cities.

The cellular phone users’ growth was recorded in rural and urban areas particularly under-served areas with the increasing penetration of services, customer care facilitation and availability of SIM, scratch cards and easy-load.

In April 2011, the telecom watchdog directed cellular mobile operators to take all possible measures for the verifications of subscribers’ SIMs through “SIM information System 668” within specified time period.

Cellular phone operators were directed to block all unverified and unauthorised connections on their networks by May 17,2011 if their subscribers failed to rectify and register their SIMs on their Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC).

Mobile operators are agreed to re-launch a massive campaign to rectify the inaccuracies in the data of mobile users’ antecedents as per instructions of telecom authority.

Subsequently, nearly one million customers were identified as un-registered and gave deadline for expiry of SIM or connection. The drive is still being continued by operators for filtering their respective users’ base.

Despite all regulatory measures and stiff competition in cellular sectors, the operators have widened their users’ base significantly.

Zong was the star performer of the year with the addition of 4.22 million subscribers in fiscal year 2010-11. Its subscribers’ base reached 10.9 million by June 2011. It is followed by Telenor, which added 2.86 million new subscription to 26.6 million base.

Mobilink is the market leader with all time high level of subscribers’ base, reaching 33.3 million by June 2011. It has recorded an increase of 1.17 million connections. Ufone and Warid also recorded 0.976 million and 0.456 million to their base 20.5 million and 17.3 million respectively.
Source: Daily Times