Pakistan’s telecom sector attracted $6.1 billion in foreign direct investment in the past 4 years (From July 1, 2018, to March 30, 2022). This data was shared by the Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunications Syed Amin Ul Haque, a MQM member (former ally in the Imran Khan’s government).
In his message on the occasion of ‘World Telecommunication and Information Society Day,’ Federal Minister for Information Technology said that due to telecom reforms, the number of active mobile SIMs reached 193 million by March 2022, and the number of mobile and fixed broadband consumers increased by 39.4 percent.
In the previous three years, he remarked, Pakistan has achieved revolutionary steps in the information technology and telecommunications sectors. Investments in telecom sector were done by international brands in the area of telecom by Ericsson, Vivo and Xiaomi etc.
It was a big achievement of Pakistan to attract phone manufactures to establish manufacturing plants in Pakistan. Currently Pakistan is making Xiaomi, Realme, Vivo and Samsung phones in Pakistan which not only reduces the import bills but also creates jobs for the locals in technology area. Currently over 60,000 jobs are being created in Pakistan by the phone manufacturers.
According to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, local mobile handset manufacturing plants produced over 24 million handsets in 2021, compared to 0.36 million commercially imported handsets (PTA). The Made in Pakistan mobile phones are increasing reducing the imports and also increasing the exports.
In February, 2.38 million 2G phones and 1.56 million smartphones were manufactured/ assembled locally. According to PTA data, 53% were smartphones, and 47% used 2G on Pakistani networks.
According to the IT Minister over 37 telecom sector projects worth Rs. 31 billion had been begun, with 50 to 75 percent of work done on the majority of them by June 2021.
According to the Federal Minister, Rs. 6.47 billion is being spent on nine distinct optical fiber and broadband projects in Punjab, and Rs. 8.48 billion is being spent on nine projects in Sindh for the provision of high-speed internet and fiber optical laying.
There are 11 projects totaling Rs. 8.43 billion throughout Balochistan’s 14 districts. In fourteen districts of KPK, about Rs. 7.08 billion is being invested on eight separate broadband and optical fiber projects, he said.
During the current fiscal year, Rs. 29 billion would be spent on 28 initiatives to provide broadband services to remote locations, according to Syed Amin Ul Haque.