ISLAMABAD: Telecom sector investment declined to $762 million in 2022-23 compared to $1.666 billion in 2021-22, revealed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
Telecom sector investment was $1.214 billion in 2020-21 and $1.140 billion in 2019-20. The authority in its annual report noted that cellular mobile operators (CMOs) registered the maximum decline in investment and stood at $396 million in 2022-23 compared to $1.175 billion in 2021-22. Over the last five years, total investments in Pakistan’s telecom sector have surpassed the $5.7 billion mark, with Foreign Direct Investment inflows reaching $1.4 billion.
The PTA stated that it stepped up its collaborative efforts to improve ease of doing business and attract foreign investment, particularly through the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).
The expansion of telecom services, coupled with the monetization efforts of operators, resulted in record telecom revenues of Rs850 billion in 2022-23. The sector made a formidable annual contribution of Rs340 billion to the national exchequer in the form of PTA deposits, taxes, spectrum fees, and other revenue streams.
The Authority further stated that Mobile Average Revenue per User (ARPU) rose to Rs278 per month during July-September 2023. ARPU increased to Rs247.8 per month in fiscal year 2022-23 up from Rs220.2 in the preceding year.
Jazz and Ufone particularly stood out, achieving significant ARPU growth rates of 18.8per cent and 13.3per cent, respectively. Telenor and Zong also experienced growth, with their ARPU increasing by 8.3per cent and 6.7per cent, respectively. In July-September 2023, Jazz’s ARPU has even surpassed the Rs354 per month milestone along with an overall mobile industry ARPU of Rs278.
At present, data revenue accounts for 65 percent of the total revenue in Pakistan’s mobile industry, underlining the importance of promoting the adoption of broadband and digital services to increase the industry’s overall ARPU.
In 2022-23, the data ARPU increased to Rs242 per month, a modest uptick from the previous year’s Rs236.9 per month, despite a decline in the effective price per GB. This increase in data ARPU can be attributed to the growing trend of increased data usage, which rose from 6.5 GB per subscriber per month to 7.3 GB in the fiscal year 2022-23, representing a substantial 12.3 percent increase.