Naureen Aqueel

The Age of ‘Celluleap’

Posted on: July 7, 2009

An edited version of this article was published in CIO Pakistan magazine, July 2009.

With cellular subscribers increasing in number by leaps and bounds, it appears we are entering a new age. Cellular phones which were once a luxury that were out of the reach of many, have now become a necessity with the result that today just about everyone, be it the carpenter or the bus conductor, has a cellphone serving as a vital tool helping them in their business.

Pakistan’s cellular subscriber base has increased by over one million customers in the month of May alone. Cellphone subscribers have grown by 1.16 million within May 2009, adding to the overall users’ base by 1.3 percent. The growth has resulted from the ferocious sales campaigns launched by cellular companies in the country.

According to figures released by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), this a rise in total subscribers is for the fifth consecutive month, with the subscriber base having risen to 93.1 million now.

Mobilink has shown the greatest rise in subscribers base in the month of May rising by an impressive 0.43 million additions. Mobilink is followed closely by Telenor which also added an impressive 0.374 million. Warid, Ufone and Zong come after that. 

Today, Mobilink has the largest subscriber base in the country with 28.81 million subscribers, after that come Telenor with 20.48 million users and Ufone with 19.85 million. Warid and Zong have17.65 million and 6.263 million connections respectively.

Mobile phone penetration has increased rapidly in the country over the years. According to World Bank reports half of Pakistanis including women have access to a cell phone together with rural areas (two-thirds in urban areas). WB reports that while more than 86 percent of men have their own cell phone, 40 percent of women do.

Pakistan had aimed to achieve 110 million subscribers  by the year 2010, however, in May 2009, PTA chairman had revealed that the overall slowdown in economic progress around the globe has affected the achievement of this target so far. Recent successes may however create hope for meeting the target if things go the same way.

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