Mobile Broadband Accelerates Data Service Revenue Growth in Pakistan

Mobile service operators enjoyed 24% jump in data revenue in fiscal year 2013-14 ended in June. Meanwhile, Pakistanis signed up for 3G and 4G mobile broadband services at a rate of one million per month over the last five months.


The data revenues of mobile phone service operators reached Rs. 47 billion during the year under review, 47.4% year-over-year growth. “This is a healthy sign in the wake of 3G and 4G services in the country and shows that the use of internet and data services on the cellular mobile has been increasing,” according to a recent Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) report.

As of June 30, 2014 data revenues account for 19.3% of the telecom sector’s overall revenue, up from 16.4% at the end of FY13 – the number for cellular segment, too, increased from 7.3% to 10.1%.

The increased use of social media messaging apps negatively impacted text messaging growth as the SMS volume declined to 301.7 billion during FY2014, down 4% compared to 315.7 billion in 2013. The average monthly SMS per subscriber volume was down to 180 in FY14 compared to 214 of FY13.

PTA reported that each cellular subscriber in the country has 2.17 SIMs on average, which translates to an actual monthly ARPU (per user revenue) of Rs 432.

Mobile broadband roll-out and double-digit growth in data revenue are expected to enable a whole new Internet-based economy with growth of mobile apps from social media, education, health care,  entertainment, financial services and e-commerce to government services in Pakistan.

3G/4G Subscriber Update As Of January 2015:
















Source: Telecompaper.com

Pakistan ended January with over 9.07 million 3G/4G subscribers, up from 5.71 million in December 2014, according to data from Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). Telenor led the 3G/4G market with over 2.25 million subscribers, followed by Ufone (2.25 million 3G/4G subscribers), Mobilink (2.17 million 3G/4G subscribers), and CMPak (1.85 million 3G subscribers and 5,023 4G customers) Warid had 44,075 LTE network subscribers at 31 January 2015.

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Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan bucks the trend in declining PC sales in MENA region:


PC sales in Africa and the Middle East (AME) will decline by 2% in 2014, with sales remaining flat to slightly negative for the next five years, according to new research by International Data Corp (IDC).

This is despite a positive third quarter in 2014, when the market expanded by 2,1% in volume terms year on year to reach 4,26m units. The grow was spurred in large part by two significant education orders in Pakistan and the revival of the Egyptian market.

Growth on the third quarter was seen across both the desktop and portable PC segments, IDC said. Desktop shipments to AME increased by 3,6% year on year to 1,73 million units, while shipments of portable PCs were up by 1,1% to 2,53m units.

“The market overcame ongoing instability in certain parts of the region to maintain its state of growth in the third quarter of 2014,” said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Turkey and Africa. “For example, the Nigerian market was hit hard by the outbreak of Ebola, while the war-like situation in Iraq greatly inhibited shipments to the ‘rest of the Middle East’ sub-region comprising Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine and Afghanistan.”

PC makers also had to contend with a general slowdown in PC demand across the region due to the growing popularity of tablets and smartphones, said Charakla. “Indeed, an overall regional decline was only averted by the delivery of 150 000 notebooks into Pakistan’s education sector and the return of relative calm to Egypt, which saw these two countries become by far the fastest growing markets during the quarter.”

The three leading PC vendors in AME remained unchanged from the previous quarter. Hewlett-Packard continued to lead in market share, posting year-on-year unit growth of 14,4% for the quarter. Second-placed Lenovo continued to benefit from strong consumer demand and was again the fastest growing major PC vendor in the region, increasing its shipments by 58,2% year on year. Third-ranked Dell recorded 23% year-on-year growth, with one of the education deals in Pakistan serving as a major driver of sales.

Despite this, IDC expects the AME PC market to shrink by 2% overall in 2014. “The market will remain close to flat over the coming five years, and may even experience some minor declines, with demand for both desktops and portable PCs continuing to slow in many parts of the region. However, a number of underpenetrated markets — including Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria and some smaller African countries — will continue to experience growth, preventing the overall region from experiencing any significant declines.” — © 2014 NewsCentral Media

http://www.techcentral.co.za/regions-pc-market-to-slump-by-2/53387/
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan has imported record US$ 544 million of cellular mobile handsets and US$ 682 million worth of telecom equipment during last one year, registering 20.7 percent and 30.3 percent increase respectively.
During the year, both operators as well as cellular mobile customers prepared themselves for 3G and 4G services. The operators upgraded their telecom networks and systems while subscribers opted to shift to smartphones to enjoy such services.
According to latest telecom stats, overall, the telecom imports crossed the mark of US$ 1.23 billion, of which 44.4 percent was for imports of consumer items i.e. cellular mobile handsets.
The telecom experts on Tuesday said there is a dire need for deployment of local manufacturing plant to reduce import bill.
It is now vital to develop local industry for telecom equipments and handsets with cooperation of regional partners engaged in telecom manufacturing.

http://www.brecorder.com/pakistan/business-a-economy/216923-telecom-imports-cross-us$-123bn-mark.html
Riaz Haq said…
Telecom service provider Telenor Pakistan has achieved 2.6 million 3G subscribers in 73 cities.

The company has launched 3G services in Pabbi, Karak, Sheikhupura, Toba Tek Singh, Lakki Marwat, Mianwali, Khyber Agency and Vihari during the current phase of commercial rollout.

Telenor Pakistan will offer free trial of 3G services — 50 MBs of free data every day — to customers in these newly added areas for two weeks.

The company will be charging 2G data services as usual.

Telenor Pakistan is following a two-fold strategy to roll out 3G sites across the country.

First, the telecom operator will increase the number of 3G sites within a city thus expanding the in-city coverage. Second, it will increase the number of 3G cities across the country.

“We will strengthen network reach and stay committed towards building an ecosystem to further facilitate 3G growth in the country,” said Irfan Wahab Khan, chief marketing officer, Telenor Pakistan.

In 2013, Telenor Pakistan invested substantially in modernizing its telecom network including base station equipment, value-added service platforms, among other things. Telenor Pakistan selected telecom equipments which are 24 percent more energy efficient and possessed intelligent power management features with reduced power consumption.

http://www.telecomlead.com/3g/telenor-pakistan-achieves-2-6-million-3g-subscribers-73-cities-55799
Riaz Haq said…
Startups in Asia – or any other developed country, for that matter – often complain of a lack of talent in their respective countries. Yet Pakistan boasts of a massive freelancing population. In 2013, there were reportedly 2 million Pakistani freelancers on oDesk, making it the fifth largest contributor globally. oDesk vice president Matt Cooper told The Express Tribune that the “quality of projects delivered by Pakistani freelancers is at par with our top freelancer countries from around the globe.”

Pakistan is slowly but surely joining the high-speed internet world as well. It was late to the game with 3G and 4G mobile services. The latter arrived only in April last year, but ended 2014 with close to 8 million subscribers – slightly more than Singapore, who first got 4G in early-2013. Meanwhile, another 15 million people access the internet from their mobile phones – that’s half of the total number of internet users in the country. It is expected that the number of broadband subscribers will rise to 45 million by 2020.

There are a number of local startups who have made a name for themselves on the world stage, too. Enterprise social network Convo, who raised US$5 million from a US-based VC firm Morgenthaler Ventures in 2013, is widely hailed as an example of Pakistani ingenuity. Morgenthaler Ventures has invested in big names such as Apple and Evernote.

Fashion-with-a-mission startup Popinjay has produced a series of high-end handbags that have received rave reviews from several national and international media platforms, and even in fashion shows. Online car portal PakWheels also recently grabbed US$3.5 million from Malaysia-based VC Frontier Digital Ventures.

See: Popinjay dreams of making poverty a thing of the past for Pakistani women
More importantly, the high-flying founders of these startups constantly mentor and give advice to the next generation in local startup programs and competitions, of which there are many.

The pieces are in place
Tech in Asia held its first meetup event in Lahore at Arfa Software Technology Park, a grey mass of buildings that we would end up spending most of our time in. Security here is tight – my colleagues and I passed through a grand total of four checks before getting the all-clear, and were asked where we were from multiple times.

Jazib Zahir, founder of games studio Tintash, tells us that it is generally the case for establishments that the government considers to be of national importance. Despite being a regular in the premises, Zahir himself had to show his identification card along for verification purposes, as did other locals.

Much like Singapore’s Block 71, these buildings are home to many local startups, many of which are housed in the resident accelerators and incubators. These organizations account for many of the current batch of budding Pakistani startups, and hence quite literally hold up the local startup ecosystem.

The Punjab Information Technology Board – a governmental body – is responsible for the development of two key programs located here: PlanX and Plan9. As the names suggest, the two are close relatives – PlanX is an accelerator born out of Plan9’s incubation program. While the latter focuses on idea-stage startups, only those who have a product and are looking to expand further can join the former.

A round of introductions at PlanX’s quaint working space reveals startups with raw but fascinating products. Several of them have in fact gone on show and won accolades at international startup events, such as Startup Turkey and Startup Asia – these trips are fully sponsored by the government. PlanX’s BookMe, for example, was one of the finalists at Tech in Asia’s Arena competition in Jakarta last year.

https://www.techinasia.com/pakistan-startup-ecosystem-perceived-violence-held-back/
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan clinches Spectrum for Mobile Broadband Award 2015 #WorldMobileCongress #3G #4G http://tribune.com.pk/story/847230/pakistan-clinches-spectrum-for-mobile-broadband-award-2015/ …

BARCELONA: In a significant development for the telecommunication sector in the country, Pakistan was awarded the “Spectrum for Mobile Broadband Award 2015” at the Mobile World Congress 2015 of the GSM Association held in Barcelona, Spain.
Pakistan was awarded for successfully auctioning spectrum for 3G/4G services in the 850 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands in 2014, and thereafter the rapid uptake of 3G services in the country.
“The award to Pakistan is an indication of the global community reposing its trust in the telecommunication sector policy practices of the Government of Pakistan,” a statement from the Ministry of State for Information Technology quoted minister Anusha Rehman.
The award is one of the two annual mobile excellence awards given as recognition of growth of the mobile industry in the country.
​The minister in her key note address said that in a short span of 6 to 8 months since launch of 3G/4G services in Pakistan, mobile broadband subscriptions for 3G stand at around 10 million.
“The Spectrum auction for next generation mobile services has not only enabled the people to gain access to mobile broadband services but has also encouraged investment in mobile networks in Pakistan,” said Rehman.
The minister added that the introduction of 3G and 4G services in Pakistan was a step forward towards creating an ‘accelerated digitisation ecosystem’ with special emphasis on ‘Bridging Broadband Divide’.
She said the government has accorded the highest priority to the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and applications for the provision of quality services, education, employment generation, and women empowerment.
Rehman is currently leading a delegation of Pakistan at the annual GSMA Mobile World Congress, being held in Barcelona, Spain.
Riaz Haq said…
Xiaomi smartphone in Pakistan:

The Xiaomi Mi Note is one of the hottest smartphones on the market that you can’t get in the U.S. The phone, a stiff competitor to Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy and Note lines in China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Pakistan -- basically every market but the U.S. and Europe -- has its own Android-based software ecosystem, MIUI 6, which happens to look a lot like Apple Inc.’s iOS. That’s part of its appeal: a phone that is every bit as beautiful as an iPhone, but for hundreds of dollars less.

Xiaomi had a whirlwind 2014, with a whopping 61 million handsets shipped. The smartphone maker now has Google Inc. on its toes, concerned that the distant competitor, known more for its software and services than its devices, could drive customers away from its Google Play offerings. Xiaomi has also surpassed consumer-electronics behemoth Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. as the largest mobile manufacturer in China in terms of shipments to the country, according to the International Data Corp.

Xiaomi was gracious enough to let me review its latest and greatest smartphone. So take that, Apple and Samsung: a Xiaomi phone in the U.S.

The Xiaomi Mi Note features a 5.7-inch Full HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip, 3 GB of random-access memory, 16 GB and 64 GB internal storage options, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 4-megapixel front camera and the Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS with Xiaomi’s MIUI 6 interface. The device sells for 2,299 yuan ($371), making it hundreds of dollars cheaper than a base-model iPhone.

First Impressions

The Xiaomi Mi Note is thin, light and quite compact for a phablet with a 5.7-inch display (it’s about the same width as the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus). Some aren’t enamored with the thinness of the Mi Note (less than 7 millimeters), but it’s a plus in my book. The Mi Note is nice to hold, but the all-glass exterior can be slippery. The back panel appears to be made of the same Gorilla Glass as its front display, which gives it a nice premium look. But glass back panels are prone to shattering when handsets are dropped.

http://www.ibtimes.com/xiaomi-mi-note-review-why-apple-samsung-should-be-very-worried-about-xiaomi-1823288
Riaz Haq said…
Haier Pakistan has announced that it will start a mobile phone assembling and production facility in the country by the end of 2015.

While talking to More Magazine, Mr. Afridi said,”we will invest some $8 million in 2015 for expanding our mobile phone division and with the expertise of our Chinese friend, Haier will generate employment for more than 800 people in its production facility”.

“We are not relying on importing mobile phones from China but our focus is the transfer of technology in the country so that we could manufacture our own product here. We have already started an assembly line for the laptops in Pakistan”, added Afridi.

Today, Haier Pakistan assembles some 2000 laptops in Pakistan every month which it mainly produces for Prime Minister Laptop Distribution Scheme. The company plans to enhance the capacity by the end of 2015 when it starts production for the masses.

Pakistan is a market of 2.5 million mobile phones that are imported every month. Afridi foresees that with the introduction of Haier mobile phones in the country, the figure will go up by 30% by the end of current year.

To a question about the quality of phones, Afridi responded as, “after the entry of Haier mobile phones into the market, non-branded and weak quality phones will be filtered out in the first phase. We are eyeing to position our product with the brands like Huawei and Apple”.

“One needs to feel the product that we are providing now. No other brand in Pakistan has created the eco-system that we have designed for our customers. Our phones will be integrated with other Haier’s electronic products available in the market”, added Afridi

Haier Pakistan has announced three categories of handsets including feature phones, mid-level and high-level smartphones.

It is yet to be seen the actual performance of the company in a new and different market which is much volatile than home appliances business. However, with the initiatives like Haier, a very positive message for the foreign investors is certainly on the wall.



http://www.breakingnewspak.com/haier-pakistan-to-start-mobile-phone-production-unit-in-2015/
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan figures prominently among major growth markets in #InternetTrends 2015 report by Kleiner Perkins @kpcb


Internet Penetration 11%, Mobile phones owned by 144 million out of 196 million population. Only 6% own smartphones. Opportunity for strong growth with 3G, 4G rollout done in 2014.

http://www.kpcb.com/internet-trends
Riaz Haq said…
#Facebook, #Telenor launch #Internet.org in #Pakistan, Browse 17 Websites for Free http://propakistani.pk/2015/05/28/internet-org-launched-in-pakistan-browse-17-websites-for-free-on-telenor/ … via @ProPakistaniPK

As we told you yesterday, Telenor, in collaboration with Facebook today launched internet.org initiative in Pakistan, with which all Telenor customers — both prepaid and postpaid — will be able to use selected internet websites for free.

Telenor launched the program with 17 websites today, which are available for free unlimited browsing. However, external links, if any, will be charged as per usual tariffs.

Launch event or internet.org was attended by high-ups of Telenor Pakistan, including Michael Foley, CEO, Telenor, Irfan Wahab, Deputy CEO, Telenor Pakistan and Aslam Hayat Khan, VP, Telenor Pakistan.

Facebook officials, lead by Ime Archibong, Global Head for Strategic Partnerships at Facebook, in first of its kind representation from Facebook in Pakistan, were also present at the event.

Telenor has said that its internet.org initiative is aimed for first time internet users. Company has said that its currently not looking at any business proposition, instead the whole initiative is targeted to convert more users to internet.

Here is the list of websites that can be browsed for free:

Facebook, Telenor Mobile Portal, AccuWeather, Babycenter & MAMA, BBC News, Bing, ESPN Cricinfo, Facts for Life, Girl Effect, IlmkiDunya, Malaria No More, Mustakbil, OLX, Telenor News, UrduPoint Cooking and Wikipedia

Telenor users, in whatever city they are or whatever package they are on (postpaid included) can go to internet.org from their cell phones to access these websites. While accessing internet.org website, users will be presented a list of websites they can access for free.

Alternatively, if you are smartphone user, you can download internet.org app from your respective app store an use it.

Any usage with-in internet.org website (or the app) will be free.

Both 3G and 2G users can access internet.org for free, and there is no need to subscribe or activate anything. You can start browsing internet.org for free, right away!

http://propakistani.pk/2015/05/28/internet-org-launched-in-pakistan-browse-17-websites-for-free-on-telenor/
Riaz Haq said…
The mobile phone imports into the country increased by 13.06 percent to US $539.583 million during first nine months of the year 2014-15 over the same period of last year’s imports of $477.255 million. On month on month and year on year basis, the cell phone import in March also increased by 1.05 percent and 64.94 percent when compared to the import in February 2015 and March 2014 respectively, according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The mobile phone import during March 2015 stood at $73.929 million against the import of $73.161 million in February 2015 and $44.822 million in March 2014. Similarly, the overall telecom imports also increased by 14.70 percent during July-March (2014-15) over the same period of last year. The imports of telecom into the country during first nine months of current fiscal year were recorded at $1.071 billion against the imports of $933.543 million in July-March 2014-15. On year on year basis, the telecom imports telecom imports in March increased by 8.46 percent from $100.144 million in March 2014 to $108.619 percent in March this year whereas on month on month basis the telecom imports decreased from $115.454 million in February 2015 to $108.619 million in March 2015 thus showing 5.92 percent decrease.

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/05/02/business/cell-phone-import-rises-13-06-percent-in-9-months/

Riaz Haq said…
MS Mobile Windows Lumia #smartphones sales in #Pakistan increased over 300% in Q1

http://www.gsmarena.com/lumia_sales_in_pakistan_increased_300_in_q1-news-12561.php … via @gsmarena_com

The quarter-over-quarter sales of Lumia devices more than tripled in Pakistan in Q1, 2015, according to Patrick Mercanton, head of marketing for Near-East, North Africa, Levant and Emerging Asia for Microsoft Mobile Devices.

“Considering our primary goal is to enhance the growth of the Windows Phone ecosystem through Lumia smartphone activations, it certainly is a great achievement for us and showcases the appetite in Pakistan for a third smartphone ecosystem other than Android and iOS,” he said, adding that the Lumia 535 was the highest selling smartphone in the region.
He also revealed that the company holds over half of the feature phone market in Pakistan, and that Windows Phone is now the second most popular mobile OS in the country, ahead of Apple's iOS - the top spot is claimed by Google's Android.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Telecommunication Company limited (PTCL) has introduced a 4G LTE tablet dubbed ‘CharJi Evo Tab’. The dual-SIM tablet provides LTE speeds of up to 36 Mbps and enables customers to access voice connectivity through GSM SIMs just like a mobile phone. The device features a 6.98 inch screen, 2 GB RAM and Quad Core processor. The tablet also includes 16 GB in-built and 64 GB external memory support, 8-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front camera.

The CharJi Evo Tab is available for PKR 25,000. Customers who acquire the device will also receive a bonus of 5 GB CharJi LTE data and 15,000 Ufone on-net minutes, valid for 3 months and a free 1-year subscription to its Smart TV app. Customers will also have access to a pre-installed Sygic application for turn-by-turn voice guided navigation across Pakistan.


http://www.telecompaper.com/news/ptcl-unveils-charji-evo-4g-lte-tablet--1088768
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan #smartphone sales jump 124% year-over-year. #3G #4G http://www.cellular-news.com/story/Handsets/67770.php …

Shipments of smartphones in Pakistan increased by a massive 124% year on year during the first quarter of 2015, with shipments up 21% when compared with the previous three month period. That's according to the latest findings from global technology research and consulting firm International Data Corporation (IDC), which attributes the shifting dynamics of the Pakistan mobile market to the deployment of 3G 4G networks across the country and the subsequent rise in demand for devices that are compatible with the new infrastructure. Pakistan has traditionally been a feature phone market indeed, just three years ago (2012), 93% of all mobile phone shipments in the country were feature phones since there was no network to support smartphones. Even those consumers that did own smartphones had to be content with only using traditional voice and SMS services. In the last year, however, the market has experienced a drastic shift to the smartphone form factor. According to IDC's Global Mobile Phone Tracker published in Q1 2015, smartphones now account for about 30% of all the devices shipped to Pakistan, up from 25.3% in the previous quarter and from 14.7% in the corresponding period last year. This shift is set to continue, as IDC expects the proportion of smartphones to overtake feature phones by the end of 2017. The Shift to Smartphones in Pakistan The rapid shift to smartphones began in 2014 following the deployment of 3G 4G networks in the country. Inevitably, there is now a scrum of vendors trying to get a share of the pie, and as telecom operators deploy infrastructure to the whole country, the level of competition is only expected to increase. Data from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) shows that only about 10% of all subscribers in the country are using 3G 4G networks, so the shift to smartphones will gather even more pace as the numbers of 3G 4G subscribers increase. Another important factor to consider is that mobile phone penetration currently stands at around 75% in Pakistan, meaning there is a sizeable share of the population that has yet to acquire any type of mobile device. Uptake among these first time buyers is sure to spur the smartphone market's development even further. Meanwhile, dual device ownership is expected to rise, with consumers increasingly acquiring a smartphone in addition to their existing feature phones, not only so they can capitalize on the added benefits of smartphone ownership, but also so they can leverage the on net savings that telcos may provide for both voice and data usage. Vendor Specific Trends As the above shift is taking place, the market is witnessing an increase in the number of vendors offering different SKUs of devices. QMobile continues to dominate the market with an overall unit share of 58%, leading in both the feature phone and smartphone segments. Nokia and Voice are the other key players, with shares of 17% and 5%, respectively. The market is also witnessing an influx of new vendors. Despite QMobile's strong lead, IDC expects competition to intensify as other players like Voice, Samsung, Huawei, and Lenovo make inroads into the market. "We expect to see fluctuations in the market's vendor shares as large global players start to establish a stronger foothold in the market and new players try to gain a slice of the action," says Nabila Popal, IDC's research manager for handsets and display solutions in the Middle East and Africa. "Samsung, for example, initially had a hard time in the Pakistan market, but recent changes to its product mix and target price bands have helped it to finally gain traction in the market, recording a 6% share of smartphone shipments in Q1 2015." ......
Riaz Haq said…
In a sign that the rising demand for portable broadband will continue to drive mobile phone imports to Pakistan, the country imported $630 million worth of cell phones in fiscal year (FY) 2015, up 11.6% compared to $564 million of FY2014, according to statistics released by the State Bank of Pakistan.

The year-on-year (YoY) increase in mobile phone imports of FY2015 is 120 basis points higher compared to the annual growth recorded in FY2014. The country had imported $511 million worth of mobile phones in FY2013, which increased by 10.4% to $564 million in FY2014.

The overall telecom imports, however, recorded a meagre 0.7% YoY increase in the latest fiscal year. Overall telecom imports, including mobile phones, clocked in at $1.22 billion in FY 2014 compared to $1.21 billion of the corresponding year.

The demand for smartphones, as well as basic internet phones, has been on the rise since last-year’s auction of mobile broadband technology: third-generation (3G) network and the advanced long-term evolution (LTE) or 4G network.

The five mobile operators converted nearly 1 million users to their next-generation mobile network in April, the latest month for which data is publicly available.

The number of mobile broadband users (3G and 4G combined) increased by 8% to finish at 13 million at the end of April compared to 12 million of the preceding month. The country now boasts 12.8 million 3G users and 140,000 users subscribed to 4G technology.

As a result of the recently concluded biometric verification drive, the overall telecom user base has declined by 15% or 20 million to 115.4 million at the end of FY 2015 compared to 135.8 million of December 2014, but it is likely to pick up again on the back of aggressive marketing and branding by cellular operators to sell their 3G and 4G connections.

The latest data for mobile phone imports indicate that the taxes imposed by the government in recent budget have not yet affected imports. Market sources, however, say the newly-imposed taxes will likely discourage users and lure them towards the grey market.

It may be recalled that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, while unveiling the federal budget for FY 2016, proposed a 100% increase in GST on various categories of imported mobile phones.

As per the aforesaid proposal, the GST on mobile handsets has increased from their current level of Rs150 (low-end handsets), Rs250 (mid-range handset) and Rs500 (high-end handsets) to Rs300, Rs500 and Rs1,000 rupees, respectively.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/926484/fy15-mobile-phone-imports-clock-in-at-630m/
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan nears 12.5 mln #3G #4G subscribers in June 2015. Adding over 1 million users per month. #mobile #internet http://www.telecompaper.com/news/pakistan-nears-125-mln-3g4g-subscribers-in-june--1095574

Pakistan ended June with over 13.49 million 3G/4G subscribers, up from 9.83 million in May, according to data from Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). Telenor led the 3G/4G market with over 4.16 million subscribers, followed by Mobilink (3.65 million 3G subscribers), CMPak (3 million 3G/4G subscribers, and Ufone (2.57 million 3G subscribers). Warid had 106,211 LTE network subscribers at end-June.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan Mobilink expands #3G network coverage to 200 cities - Telecompaper

http://www.telecompaper.com/news/mobilink-expands-3g-network-coverage-to-200-cities--1095777#.VcI8ijK7HmE.twitter …

Pakistani mobile operator Mobilink has expanded its 3G network coverage to 200 cities across the country. Mobilink added 178 cities to its 3G network coverage in the first half of this year, Pakistan Tribe reports. Mobilink commercially launched 3G services on the local market in July 2014. To support its 3G services, Mobilink's fiber optic network currently spans over 8,000 kilometers.
Riaz Haq said…
Telecom sector: #Pakistan to have 40 million #smartphones by end of 2016. #3g http://tribune.com.pk/story/953333/telecom-sector-pakistan-to-have-40-million-smartphones-by-end-of-2016/ …

There will be 40 million smartphones in Pakistan by December 2016, according to market estimates, based on current trends in the e-commerce sector, says a major player.

According to sources in the e-commerce market, the estimate, along with the optimism surrounding it, is being driven by the recent growth of telecom sector, particularly the increase in number of mobile broadband users.

In Pakistan, third-generation (3G) and 4G mobile phone users stand at 14.6 million as of July 2015 and continue to grow, creating a huge demand for smartphones, which is the top selling category across all major e-commerce platforms.

Publicly available data shows mobile phone imports in terms of value and not in units, making it difficult to figure out category-wise imports. However, market sources say less than 20% of Pakistan’s monthly mobile phone imports comprises smartphones. This equation though is likely to change in a couple of years, they added.

More than two million users a month are looking to buy a phone online, according to Daraz.pk Co-Founder Muneeb Maayr. To capitalise on this growing demand, major industry players from service providers (telecom operators) to mobile phone makers and an e-commerce platform have partnered with internet giant Google to promote online trade by offering exclusive discounts on mobile phone purchases just ahead of Eidul Azha.

Titled Google’s Tech Mela, the 10-day event, which goes live on September 11, is an online shopping festival which brings many new phones launched recently at discounted prices and deals from major mobile phone brands.

“With this event, Google aims to support the vibrant and growing culture of e-commerce in the country,” Maayr told The Express Tribune, adding it was an exciting platform to raise awareness and consumer adoption of e-commerce in Pakistan.

The participating companies include Samsung, Microsoft, Huawei, PTCL, Rivo, TPL Trakker, Innjoo, Infinix, Intex, Telenor and Zong which are offering products from tablets to personal tracker devices and data bundles.

“This is the first of many online shopping festivals to come to Pakistan, and smartphones are a good assortment to begin this festival with,” Maayr said, responding to a question about whether they planned to promote products other than smartphones.

According to him, Google’s regional head for Asia is in Pakistan for a week scoping out on how best to participate in the development of ecosystem for internet usage.

The country’s e-commerce market is still in its infancy and represents only 5% of conventional retail trade. However, the overall size of this fast growing segment has come close to $100 million, up by two-thirds from $60 million as of December 2014, said Homeshopping.pk Chief Executive Officer Shayaan Tahir in a recent interview.

A bulk of the country’s e-commerce transactions originate from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi, which comprise about 50% of customers, Maayr said, adding the remaining customer base is very thinly split between cities and towns nationwide.

With telecom operators rolling out 3G and 4G services in semi-urban and rural areas of the country – which usually don’t have outlets for branded products – the e-commerce market is likely to benefit a great deal.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan #broadband subscribers reached 38m in October: PTA. #3G #4G #Internet

http://nation.com.pk/business/17-Nov-2016/broadband-subscribers-reached-38m-in-october-pta

The total number of broadband subscribers has crossed 38 million by the end of October 2016. According to the latest data of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the number of broadband users has reached 38076286. Addition of 35.45 million mobile broadband subscribers Since the launch of 3G and 4G LTE services, mobile broadband subscribers have reached 35.45 million. The total usage of data during September 16 to October 16 was 53,340 terabytes. 2G share remained 87 percent in terms of voice, while 13 percent was data share. In 3G technology, 3 percent was voice, while 97 percent was data usage.

Before 3G and 4G launch, the total volume was 1,243 Tbs in January 2014, whereas, it increased gradually after 3G launched. In December 14, the total usage was 6,903 terabytes which increased to 23,980 in December 2015. In September 2016, the data usage was 45,672 terabytes. The PTA data also claimed that the teledensity has reached to around 71 percent. It indicates that majority of people now have access to basic voice telephony, mostly on mobile phones.
Riaz Haq said…
#Visa QR #mobile payments coming to #Indonesia, #Pakistan, #Vietnam

http://www.telecomasia.net/content/visa-qr-payments-coming-indonesia-pakistan-vietnam

Visa will soon be expanding its QR-based mobile payment service to ten more markets, including Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam.

The service, named mVisa, is now live in India, Kenya and Rwanda, and will soon be available to merchants and consumers in the three new APAC markets, as well as Egypt, Ghana, Kazakhstan, and Nigeria.

mVisa, a mobile solution, aims to provide easy and secure digital commerce to financial institutions, merchants and consumers in emerging markets.

The service is designed to help merchants overcome infrastructure issues by allowing consumers to use their mobile phones to make cashless purchases at merchant outlets, pay bills remotely and send money to friends and family members by securely linking their Visa debit, credit or prepaid account to the mVisa application.

mVisa digitizes the underlying account and allows consumers to transfer funds from their account to the retailer’s account reliably and securely by scanning a QR code.

Use cases of mVisa include the allowing subscribers of Tata Sky, a direct-to-home service provider in India, to recharge their account by using their mobile phones to scan the WR code directly from the TV screen or online. This function allows Tata Sky customers to order and pay for monthly or one-time services from home without having to visit a physical retail outlet.

Mahanagar Gas Limited, a utility provider in Mumbai, also issues customer bills printed with the mVisa QR code. Customers scan the QR code on the bill, as they would at a merchant outlet, and complete their transaction at their leisure.
Riaz Haq said…
#China's ZTE to expand #digital #television service offering in #Pakistan http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/13/zte-to-expand-digital-television-service-offering-in-pakistan.html

BEIJING — China's ZTE is expanding its partnership in Pakistan to extend digital television services into more regions of the country, including in remote mountainous areas, Zhang Zhenhui, executive vice president at the company, told CNBC.

The Shenzhen-based tech and telecom company will sign the agreement on Sunday at China's Belt and Road Forum, a two-day meeting on the country's major foreign policy initiative.

"This is a project with significant importance, as it provides telecommunication services to many Pakistani people, including ones that live in rural and remote areas," Zhang said. "This is a key strategic project by the two governments, and ZTE serves as the bond between the two nations."

China's ambitious "One Belt, One Road" policy is a plan that aims to connect Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa with a vast logistics and transport network. It's set to use roads, ports, railway tracks, pipelines, airports, electric grids and even fiber optic lines. If successful, it would allow China to increase its global influence and find a way to find further growth as the domestic economy slows.

For companies like ZTE, this means a major opportunity to continue expanding abroad, especially with the backing of the Chinese government.

"We believe the policy will greatly support the company's next phase of international expansion," Zhang said.

ZTE already operates in more than 160 countries, and nearly half of the firm's revenues come from its international business. Pakistan has long been an important market for ZTE — the company has worked with local partners to build and upgrade the country's telecoms' 2G, 3G and 4G networks, and opened a research and development center back in 2006.

Pakistan is also an important part of China's "One Belt, One Road" strategy: The world's second-largest economy has already launched a collection of infrastructure projects there worth $46 billion, named the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Zhang said ZTE is optimistic about its 2017 business prospects after posting a strong first quarter with a nearly 28 percent jump in net profit, and that the company will continue to invest heavily in developing 5G networks, with the aim to roll out by 2020.

"5G will be ZTE's champion product … we will be the leader," Zhang said.

The strong start to the year is a sign the company is rebounding after pleading guilty and paying in March around $1 billion in fines to the U.S. government to settle allegations that it violated U.S. laws on selling American technology to Iran. The penalty payment dented earnings — the company posted a 2.36 billion yuan net loss for 2016.

Although the U.S. hasn't officially signed on to China's initiative, a delegation is participating in the Beijing meeting. And U.S.-China trade relations continue to hang in the balance, though officials and business leaders on both sides have worked to maintain optimism about continuing a long relationship.

ZTE's Zhang echoed those sentiments: "I believe in many years from now, the China and U.S. economies will embrace even deeper ties and cooperation."

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