Mobile penetration in Pakistan surpassed 50% during the second quarter of 2008, with an end-June figure of 51.0%. The total number of mobile connections at the end of the month was 88.02m. With monthly net additions averaging around 1.9m so far this year, the 90m mark looks set to be surpassed before the end of the third quarter.
However, growth has been slowing for some time now, and in June the monthly growth rate hit a new low of 1.5%. On a rolling annual basis, growth dipped below 40% for the first time since 2000, although 39.4% still represents a strong annual rate.
Orascom’s Pakistani subsidiary Mobilink remains the country’s market leader by some distance with 32.03m customers at the end of June.
Rolling Annual Customer Growth, June 06 – June 08
Click here to see full article
Although it has lost 5.5pp of market share on an annual basis with an end- June figure of 36.4%, in real terms its lead over its nearest rival has increased, from 12.45m to 13.91m. There is thus little prospect of Mobilink losing its first place in the near future, even if it has recorded the lowest net additions in the market (excluding Pakcom) for the past three months. By contrast, the battle for second place is fierce. Pakistan Telecom Mobile (U-Fone), the long-term runner-up, led Telenor by 3.3m customers at the end of June 2007, but Telenor reduced the deficit to 0.2m at the end of April 2008, and at the end of May it had squeezed ahead of U-Fone by 41k. However, U-Fone is clearly not giving up without a fight, and June saw it regain its lead, albeit by a paltry 25k. This amounts to just 0.1% of its 18.13m customer base, with Telenor on 18.10m.
The other two significant players on the market (excluding legacy analogue network Pakcom, which has just 0.32m customers) are Warid and Zong, a subsidiary of China Mobile. At the end of June 2007, Warid was on the brink of overtaking Telenor, having reduced the latter’s lead to just 80k. However, Warid is now firmly established as the fourth-placed operator with 15.49m customers at the end of June 2008. Zong is still a long way behind on 3.95m customers, but it is the network’s fastest growing operator with an annual growth rate of 84.4%, more than double that of the market (39.4%).
Source: Cellular News.