Telecom sector attracts $202.34mln FDI during 2020-21

Telecom sector attracts $202.34mln FDI during 2020-21

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Islamabad: In the 2020-21 fiscal year, the country’s telecommunications industry has attracted US$20234 million in foreign direct investment (FDI), which shows that investors are confident in the current government’s policies to promote the development of the industry.

On Monday, Pakistan’s Telecommunications Authority (PTA) Chairman Amir Azim Bajwa introduced the performance of the telecommunications industry to reporters. He said: “In the last fiscal year, the telecommunications industry contributed to the country’s finances. More than 218.8 billion rupees.”

He said that as of July, the phone density (the number of fixed phone connections per 100 people in a specific geographic area) was recorded at 87.5%, and by July 2021, the number of active mobile cellular users reached 185 million.

The chairman stated that the number of broadband users reached 104.43 million in July, while the broadband penetration rate was 47.68% in the same period.

Bajwa stated that data usage will reach 6,855 PB [PetaByte] in 2020-21.

He further stated that the PTA complaint management system, which was launched in 2021 and upgraded in 2020, is used to facilitate telecommunications consumers to lodge complaints, deal with and resolve consumer dissatisfaction.

He added that from November 2018 to September 2021, a total of 480,865 complaints were received and 238,656 were resolved in a timely manner.

He said that PTA launched the Automatic Lost and Stolen Device System (LSDS) in April 2021 to block lost, stolen and robbed mobile phones. So far, it has received approximately 9,963 requests for blocking and unlocking. .

The chairman said that PTA also launched a text message automation module in February 2021 for mobile phone interception, fraud warnings and CNIC blacklists for repeated violations. He added that a total of 85,472 IMEIs were blocked, 22,225 warnings were issued, and 206 CNICs were blacklisted.

He said that since the implementation of the Device Recognition Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS), mobile devices imported through legal channels have increased by 62%, with revenues of 46.27 billion rupees.

In 2020, approximately 38.14 million devices were imported, with revenue of 54 billion rupees; by 2021, so far, approximately 20.91 million devices have been imported through legal channels.

He said that PTA has issued mobile device manufacturing (MDM) licenses to 29 companies, including foreign and local companies that own brands such as Samsung, Vivo, Oppo, Nokia, Alcatel, Techno and Infinix.

Bajwa said that within seven months after the MDM authorization was issued, approximately 12.48 million mobile devices were produced locally, including more than 5 million 4G smartphones. A company also exported 5,000 “Made in Pakistan” smartphones to the United Arab Emirates.

In just 7 months, 26 manufacturing plants with an investment of more than US$126 million were established, creating more than 10,000 jobs.

In response to the question, he said that PTA is actively cracking down on fake SIM cards. Due to the actions taken by the authorities, the number of fake SIM cards has been drastically reduced. “We are committed to completely eliminating fake SIM cards,” he added.

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