Telecom Sector in Pakistan: Annual Growth & Future Prospects


Telecommunication is the broadcasting of information over significant distances to communicate, with the help of different transmission devices. The starting of communications globally took place with the use of smoke signals and drums in Africa, The Americans and in Asian parts. Today the dynamism of international telecommunications markets is broadly attributed to a progressive liberal principle environment and fast technological developments. Countries have now recognized the importance of current trends in IT, and their impacts on the economic and social lives of the people.

With a volatile growth of Information and Communication Technologies over the past few decades involving broadcasting, satellite communication, public telephony and IP networking the telecommunications have observed evolutionary escalation. The Global telecommunication industry break through was the breakup of AT&T and the privatization of British Telecom In 1984, which led to a wave of deregulation and liberalization movement. However, in developing countries it took time to kick off and join the deregulatory bandwagon.

History of Telecommunications Liberalization in Pakistan

In 1947, at the time of inception of Pakistan, the country owned an inadequate telecom base with just 14,000 operational telephone lines. At that time the Telecom services were meant just to meet the needs of country administration.

Since the mid-1980s, a number of countries including Pakistan overhauled telecommunication industry, to arrange mobilize additional capital, improve performance of operating enterprises and respond to rapidly growing pressures for more varied services.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority PTCL logo

Pakistan initiated the deregulatory process in 1991 with the corporatization of Pakistan Telegraph and Telephone Department. Corporatization and then privatization of the Pakistan Telegraph and Telephone Department served as the harbinger for competition in the provision of telecommunications services. Thereafter in 1996, the said system was reorganized by establishment of Frequency Allocation Board, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC).

Telecom Privatization in Pakistan

As the wave of privatization and de-regulation spread in North America and Europe, Pakistan also felt its effect. The Government of Pakistan began to introduce private participation in telecommunications and licenses were awarded for cellular, card-operated payphones, paging, for data communications services in the country.

In 1991, Pakistan Telegraph and Telephone was corporatized into Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA or the “Corporation”) through the enactment of Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Act of 1991.

In 1994, the Government of Pakistan decided to get domestic and international capital markets for PTC, which later become PTCL (Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited) though subsequent partial privatization. Keeping pace with the fast changing telecom world, PTCL took key initiatives to modernize and upgrade its network and takes quantum leap, rapidly expanding the country’s current trends in IT & Telecom services to all concerns of the country, under the hood of Pakistan telecommunication Authority.

telecom revenues

The Framework of Telecom in Pakistan

The Pakistan telecommunication industry, coupled with public policies of the Pakistan telecommunication authority, has undergone numerous changes in recent times. Recapitulating just the last decade, the once sophisticated commodity: mobile phone is now with-in the reach of every segment of the society, the most current trend in IT in Pakistan in the present era. The telecommunication liberalization process provided a foundation stone towards an amazing inclination of telecommunication sector with award of 2 Mobile Telephony(Cellular), 14 Long Distance and International(LDI), 38 Fixed Local Loop(FLL) and 17 Wireless Local Loop(WLL) licenses. Till today, total mobile subscribers stand close to 90 million.

telecom growth

The current trends in IT will become more widespread in the years to come, especially for those who need to securely connect to information sources on the move. The most important proposition to continue this telecom escalation is a continuous coordination among stakeholders from industry, government, academia and the end-users.

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