Pakistan witnessed an increase in mobile phone imports during the first four months (July-October) of the fiscal year 2023-24, reaching $469.992 million. This reflects a significant growth of 107.91 percent compared to last year when imports amounted to $226.051 million.
According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), mobile phone imports experienced a month-on-month increase of 33.20 percent in October 2023, at $165.941 million, up from $124.576 million in September 2023.
On a year-on-year basis, mobile phone imports in October 2023 recorded a substantial growth of 152.27 percent compared to October 2022, where imports were $65.780 million.
The overall imports in the telecom sector for July-October 2023 reached $606.865 million, reflecting a robust growth of 75.60 percent in comparison to the same period in the previous fiscal year, which amounted to $345.595 million.
Breaking down the figures, telecom imports on a year-on-year basis in October 2023 witnessed a growth of 114.65 percent, reaching $207.789 million, up from $96.805 million in October 2022. On a month-on-month basis, there was a 30.94 percent increase in October 2023 compared to $158.688 million in September 2023.
In the realm of local manufacturing, plants produced/assembled 13.02 million mobile handsets during the first nine months (January-September) of 2023, significantly surpassing the 1.09 million commercially imported units.
Specifically, in September 2023, local manufacturing plants assembled 2.15 million mobile handsets, while commercially imported units stood at 0.25 million.
Throughout the calendar year 2022, local manufacturing plants manufactured/assembled 21.94 million mobile handsets, exhibiting a decline from the 24.66 million produced in 2021. This dip is attributed to challenges in imports, particularly the restriction on opening Letters of Credit (LCs).
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) reported that of the locally manufactured/assembled 13.02 million mobile phones, 9.01 million were 2G, and 4.02 million were smartphones.
Furthermore, PTA data indicates that 57 percent of mobile devices on the Pakistan network are smartphones, while 43 percent are 2G devices.