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ISLAMABAD: Telecom sector contributed Rs 163.3 billion to the national exchequer in terms of taxes, regulatory fees, initial and annual license fees, activation tax, and other taxes during July-March fiscal year 2021-22, says the Economic Survey 2021-22.

The Survey noted that telecom sector revenue during July-March fiscal year 2022 recoded at Rs 423 billion as it has emerged as one of the vibrant sectors of Pakistan economy. Increasing revenues, growing investment and enhanced contributions to national exchequer are hallmark of the sector for many years now.

During July 2018 to March 2022, telecom sector has attracted over $6.1 billion FDI (inflow) by telecom players in Pakistan. FDI (inflow) in telecom during July-February fiscal year 2022 were $107.9 million. Local investments made by telecom operators during July-December fiscal year 2021 reached to a significant amount of $822.2 million. The main driver behind this investment is the mobile sector which has invested $605.2 million during the period. In terms of overall investment (FDI & Local) in the telecom sector during July-February fiscal year 2022 crossed $930.1 million.

At the end of February 2022, total teledensity in the country reached to 89.5 percent, registering a growth of 3.23 percent during July to Feb fiscal year 2022. Cellular mobile segment was the main contributor towards overall growth in teledensity. By the end of February 2022, the total number of subscriptions (Mobile and Fixed) in Pakistan reached 194.2 million. Net addition of 6.7 million subscribers has been reported translating into a growth of 3.64 percent during (July-Feb FY2022) which is a healthy sign.

Broadband subscribers (mobile and fixed) have reached at 114.3 million at the end of February, 2022 as compared to 102.7 million in June 2021 which shows that on average, there have been more than 1.45 million subscriptions added to broadband networks per month during Jul to Feb FY2022. More coverage and reduced tariffs will further increase the pace of broadband subscription. The total broadband penetration (fixed and mobile) in Pakistan stood at 52.0 percent in February-2022.

Data usage by CMOs during July-February fiscal year 2022 (eight months) reached 5,674 Petabytes which is indicating a huge increase in eight months. In comparison with fiscal year 2021, data usage which was 6,855 Petabytes in 12 months.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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