Pakistan’s local mobile industry has witnessed significant growth as companies produced around 19.7 million mobile phones and smart devices in the last calendar year, especially after the government introduced the Mobile Manufacturing Policy to encourage local manufacturing.
According to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), local mobile manufacturing companies produced or assembled 19.7 million phones from January to November 2022, compared to 1.37 million commercially imported phones.
In November 2022, local manufacturing companies produced or assembled 1.56 million mobile phones.“Imports of mobile devices and smartphones fell from 10.26 million to a record 1.37 million due to increased local production,” This was reported by a high-ranking official of the Ministry of Informatization and Telecommunications.
Domestic manufacturing companies produced or assembled 24.66 million mobile phones in calendar year 2021, up from 13.05 million in 2020, a growth of 88 percent. According to PTA data, commercial imports of mobile phones stood at 10.26 million in 2021, up from 24.51 million in 2020.
19.7 million mobile phones were produced and assembled locally, including 11.5 million 2G and 8.2 million smartphones. Additionally, according to PTA data, smartphones account for 55% of mobile devices on the Pakistani network, while 2G devices account for 45%.
Under the Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy, he said around 30 mobile device manufacturers have been granted licenses to start local mobile device manufacturing. “The mobile device manufacturing policy was made to encourage local manufacturing and counter the security threat.”
Despite the increase in locally manufactured mobile phones, in the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal year 2022-23, Pakistan imported mobile phones worth $290.570 million, down 66.08 percent from the same period last year. .
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), mobile phone imports fell by 1.92 percent month-on-month (month-on-month) to $64.520 million in November 2022 compared to $65.780 million in October 2022.
In November 2022, mobile phone imports fell by 69.57 percent year-on-year (y/y) to $212.058 million compared to the same month of the previous year. The country’s total import of telecommunication services stood at $455.731 million in the first five months of the financial year 2022-23, down 59.67 percent from the same period of the previous financial year.
The official noted that the mobile devices of these manufacturers will be sold not only in the country, but also exported to other competitive markets of the region and beyond. “The device factories will help provide new jobs and affordable phones for Pakistani users.”
The successful implementation of the Device Identification, Registration and Locking System (DIRBS) along with favorable government policies such as the Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy have created an enabling environment for mobile device manufacturing in Pakistan. The PTA is responsible for issuing licenses to telecommunications companies, setting technical standards and enforcing rules and regulations related to telecommunications in Pakistan.
He said that the number of users of 3G and 4G services in Pakistan has increased significantly to reach 121 million by the end of November 2022, while the number of active mobile SIM cards has reached 194 million during the same period. The official said that the number of SPD subscribers has reached 124 million people; while broadband penetration was recorded at 56.00 percent.