It was 129% higher than the previous year
Telecom sector has emerged as a prominent contributor to Pakistan’s economy. Its contribution to the national exchequer increased by 129% in 2020, compared to 2019, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sector contributed Rs278 billion in FY 2020 as compared to Rs121 billion in FY 2019, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said in its annual report Friday.
A surge in demand for telecom services due to the lockdown resulted in significant growth. Today, the report said, 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%.
This substantial growth would not have been possible if the networks were not upgraded, the PTA said. The country currently has international bandwidth connectivity of 3.1 Tera Bytes and around 47,000 cell sites, of which 90% are 4G enabled sites.
Telecom networks are currently available to 87% of the population, according to the PTA. It is working with operators to increase their network coverage for the remaining 13% people of the country.
The total teledensity now stands at 82% with over 172 million mobile subscribers and 2.2 million fixed-line subscribers, according to the report.
The government revenue increased manifolds due to the introduction of the Device Identification & Registration System for handset imports, it said. Local manufacturing of handsets has enlivened the telecom ecosystem, with growth in local 4G device manufacturing crossing 34%.
Pakistan experienced trials of 5G services which were one of the few firsts in South Asia, the PTA said.