Telecom imports fall 1.83pc
The imports of telecom sector related items into the country fell by 1.83 percent in first 10 months ( July- April) of current fiscal year ( 2015- 16) as compared to same period of last year.
The telecom imports decreased to $ 1.1579 billion during the period JulyApril ( 2015- 16) from $ 1.18 billion during same period of the year 2014- 15.
According to latest data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics ( PBS), on month- on- month basis, the telecom imports also fell by 9.38 percent from $ 122.201 million in March, 2016 to $ 110.715 million in April 2016.
On year- on- year basis, the telecom imports however posted a growth of 1.84 percent as it went up to $ 110.715 million from $ 108.713 million in April, 2015.
The import of mobile phone during first 10 months of current year posted a growth of 6.64 percent from $ 595.778 million last year to $ 635.342 million during the period of current fiscal year.
On year- on- year basis the mobile phone import increased from $ 56.196 million in April, 2015 to 62.059 million thus showing a growth of 10.43 per cent.
However on month- on- month basis the mobile phone import posted a negative growth of 18.44 per cent as the import during the month of March, 2016 was recorded at $ 76.094 million.
Meanwhile, Zong, one of Pakistan's largest mobile network operators is now sighting for a possible merger in the country dynamic telecom sector.
According to local media reports, Zong CEO Liu Dianfeng, said that as far as the telecom sector of Pakistan is concerned, there can be only three mobile operators in the country as opposed to current five, citing low margins on return.
"It is difficult to make profits in Pakistan's market and the return on investments comes in different outlines," Liu said. "Maybe, in the future, we can think of buying an operator," the chief added.
Liu informed that despite massive investments worth some $ 3 billion, Zong is finding hard to bounce back.
Liu was critical towards the taxation policy adopted by Pakistan's government on the telecom industry, saying, "To develop a 4G market and installing these sites is a big challenge especially when the government is continuously burdening the industry with heavy taxation, the recent example of which is the taxation proposal on smartphone handsets."
The possible merger would be nothing new to the country's vibrant telecom sector, which has witnessed a fair share of mergers and break- ups, the WaridMobilink merger is one recently approved by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).