In recent years Pakistan has proved to be a rapidly growing economy. It is estimated that median age in Pakistan is 22 years which means Pakistan is a young country. Also, the working population is 110 million which is the 60 percent of total population. This means that the country has abundant economically active human resource. (Source)
Pakistan has 50% literacy rate yet, but as Government is taking interest it is expected to improve overtime. A good Communications infrastructure plays a vital role in current times not only for businesses but also allows common population to get connected to better sources of learning and work as well.
By the end of March 2013, total teledensity in the country increased to 71.95 percent, showing a growth of 2.4 percent over the same period last year. (source)
Cellular Subscription & Penetration:
Cellular market is moving towards maturity, stability and intense competition as operators are dedicating their best efforts to achieve a higher stake in the overall market share. The cellular mobile network is covering over 92 percent of the land area of Pakistan. Cellular mobile companies have expanded their networks to every nook and corner of the country. After two years of relatively slow network growth, cellular industry has shown a growth of 8.4% in cell sites during 2012. At the end of Dec 2012, there were 35,312 cell sites in Pakistan.
There were 121.13 million mobile subscribers at the end of March 2013 compared to 118.32 million subscribers last year depicting a growth over last year.
Broadband Internet Penetration in Pakistan:
Government of Pakistan has extended full support to telecom sector especially broadband, by spending Rs. 22 billion on rural telecom development through USF7. Some of the fruits of this spending include 7400 kms of fiber optics laid in far flung areas.
Moreover, government has plan to allocate Rs. 17 billion in next year budget for stretching the broadband services further in un-served and underserved areas of the country. PTA kept a technologyneutral licensing regime thereby facilitating influx of latest broadband technologies such as WiMAX, EvDO, VDSL2, in addition to existing infrastructure of DSL, HFC, FTTH, Satellite etc.
Penetration level of broadband services in Pakistan has been progressing at a leisurely but steady pace.
Broadband subscribers crossed the two million mark in just a few years since competition was first introduced in Pakistan. This year, the broadband industry added the highest number of subscribers ever while average annual growth rate remained above 100%. It shows that Pakistan’s broadband market has tremendous potential for growth and investment and PTA vows to fully cooperate with the investors in this regard. Currently, Broadband subscribers stood at 2.54 million at the end of March, 2013.
Since 2009, wireless technologies have increased their market share from 32% to 56% thereby surpassing fixed line technologies in 2012.
Analyzing individually, DSL still has the highest stake in broadband market with 42% of the subscribers while WiMAX and EvDO are in close contest with a share of 28.1% and 27.8% respectively.
Currently, over 92 percent of our population has access to telecom services, which has been possible due to expansion of telecom infrastructure all over the country by telecom operators.
Telecom Revenue in 2013:
Annual revenue of the telecom sector have reached to Rs. 411.4 billion during 2012, registering a growth of 13 percent over the last year. This is a significant increase in revenues compared to slow revenue growth in the last two years where total telecom revenue growth remained in single digit i.e. 5.4 percent in 2011 and 3.1 percent in 2010. Revenues of Telecom sector during Jul-Mar 2013 have reached to Rs. 323.0 billion registering a growth of 2.92 percent.
The Performance of Stock Markets in Pakistan (Karachi):
Karachi Stock Market remained in record high trajectory during 2012-13, with the KSE-100 Index is setting new records by each passing day and trading at above 20,300 level in mid May 2013 for the first time in its history. (Source)
Above highlights should bring hope to the startups in Pakistan that they have better access to quality resources and as the economy is improving Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will increase steadily.