The telecom sector’s titanic status in Pakistan prevails as a recent report released by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) shows that the sector’s contribution to the national exchequer witnessed a boost of 129 percent in 2020 as compared to 2019, despite the fact that the economy was burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per details from PTA’s Annual Report 2020 released today, the telecom sector proved yet again that it is one of the most valuable drivers of the national economy. Over the course of FY2020, it contributed a tremendous amount of Rs278 billion to the national exchequer, as compared to Rs121 billion back in FY2019. This represents a year-on-year growth of 129 percent.
When you think about it, the year 2020 actually held massive potential for telecom growth in general, as people all over the nation had no choice but to stay cooped up in their homes and rely on data packages and Internet services to stay connected to the world beyond.
“A surge in demand for telecom services due to lockdown resulted in significant growth not only in subscriber base but also in the usage of telecom services,” the report stated. “Today, data usage stands at 4,498 Peta Bytes (FY2020) as compared to 2,545 Peta Bytes (FY2019), showing a growth of over 77pc. This substantial growth would not have been possible if the networks were not upgraded.”
As of now, the country possesses an international bandwidth connectivity of 3.1TB and around 47,000 cell sites, out of which 90 percent are 4G-enabled.
The total revenue generated by the telecom sector in FY2020 reached Rs537 billion, with the mobile sector being largely responsible here.
Similarly, while Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) across various economic sectors dwindled in the pandemic-ravaged year of 2020, the telecom sector managed to encompass a considerable 25 percent ($623 billion) of the total FDI obtained by the country. Total investment made by the local operators grew by 14.25pc and a total of $734 million were invested locally.
The above performance metrics are a testimony to the fact that both the telecom sector and the telecom regulator (PTA) are moving in the right direction under the continuous support and guidance of the government in the form of effective policies and directions that drive the growth of digital technologies.