ISLAMABAD: Mobile phone imports in the country have registered 4.23 percent increase during year 2015-16 as compared to same period of previous year.
Total imports of mobile phone stood at $ 753.22 million in 2015-16, slightly up from $ 722.622 million in same period previous year.
According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), overall telecom imports saw decline of 0.86 percent during July 2015 to June 2016 as compared to same period last year.
Overall telecom imports were recorded at $ 1.365 billion in 2015-16 as compared to $1.377 billion in same period of previous year, a telecom news portal reported.
Other telecom apparatus import also witnessed decline of 6.48 percent during this period as it stood at $ 612.113 million during July-June (2015-16) against $ 654.508 million during same period of last year.
Meanwhile, analysts on Monday said telecom sector has come to a brim with respect to infrastructure investment and other apparatus, therefore decline in overall telecom import is justifiable.
However, mobile phone import bill is likely to grow during years to come. Early adaption of 3G/4G service – that now account to some 29 million subscriptions – is majorly consumed by users who were already smartphone users.
This trend is changing with time as more and more consumers have already started to shift to smartphones, mainly to access 3G and 4G services or even otherwise to use OTT services (such as Skype, Whatsapp) over WiFi.
Other incentives for smartphone adaption include better user experience and value added services such as video streaming, better photography and gaming.
Predictions suggest that smartphones are expected to cross 50 percent of mobile phones in Pakistan in next three years.
With three 4G players now – Zong, Telenor and Waird/Mobilink – a big jump in 4G smartphone is also expected during next 2-3 years.
Zong alone, and partly Warid, could not generate such buzz and demand for 4G, however with Telenor and Mobilink jumping into race this trend is going to shift and more 4G handsets are likely to start emerging in Pakistan, indicating a rapid increase in import bill of smartphones as imminent.