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Pakistan mobile users’ number crosses 10 million mark

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    Pakistan mobile users’ number crosses 10 million mark

    Cellphone users number crosses 10 million mark

    By Imran Ayub

    KARACHI: The number of cellphone subscribers in the country has crossed the 10 million mark for the first time ever, outnumbering those using the 50-year-old fixed telephony service by 100 percent in just ten years.

    The latest figures compiled by the Pakistan Telecommuni-cation Authority suggest cellular phone connections are growing by a staggering pace of 120 percent annually.

    By April 30, 2005, the total number of cellular phone subscribers stands at 10.54 million, said a senior PTA official.

    It is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that such a large number of cellular phone subscribers, which is almost double the number of the fixed-line telephony customers.

    He said that in over 10 million cellphone subscribers in Pakistan, Mobilink led the market share with 6.45 million subscribers, followed by Ufone which serves 2.2 million people across the country.

    The official said that with the arrival of Norwegian Telenor, competition had grown at a much faster pace than that of the previous days as the new company had attracted 653,170 customers in two months.

    The PTA data says Instaphone, with a larger coverage in the country, enjoys 524,852 customers and Paktel, which offers both AMPS and GSM service, has 308,629 and 429,411 subscribers to each of the technologies.

    If the cellular phone service maintains the same pace of growth, the number of its subscribers will double in one-year time as our estimations say it is expanding by 9.58 percent a month, said the official. The cellular phone service providers validate the Telecom watchdog estimations and predict the subscriber base will touch the 30 million mark within the next five years. There will be 30 million subscribers within five years, said Ian Williams, CEO Instaphone. As the competition grows, there will of course be consolidation with operators merging; however, no operator will close as such.

    But the increased competition has pushed the business managers of the existing operators to think and think again before finalising strategies as another cellphone service is set to launch its operation this month. The pressure on all existing and new market players is obviously increasing, with the new entrants in the mobile market, said Xavier Rocoplan, CEO Paktel. The main differentiators will still remain pricing and coverage at this stage.

    However, the growing popularity of the cellphone service and its increasing subscriber base do not bother the Pakistan Telecommunication Company, which enjoys almost a 100 percent subscriber base in the fixed-line telephony. We have over 5 million subscribers in the country, said Mashkoor Hussain, senior executive vice-president of the PTCL. We achieved this during the last 50 years but now we have a target to give two million more connections till December 2005.

    He said the fixed-line segment of the sector still had a potential to attract business and with the start of competition its number would grow at a much faster pace.

    The number of telephone lines in Pakistan is growing faster than in India, the worlds fifth-largest telecom market, where a total of 100 million people use both cellphone and fixed-line phones.

    The tele-density rate in India suggests that the country has one phone user per 120 habitants while in Pakistan every 10th person is either a user of the cellphone or of the fixed-line service.
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    Re: Pakistan mobile users number crosses 10 million mark

    shouldn't instaphone lead the way if they offer more coverage area.

    Do these companies have websites.


      Re: Pakistan mobile users number crosses 10 million mark

      instaphone is not popular with people cause it wasnt gsm until recently.
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