A Sikh shopkeeper bargains with clients in a mobile market in Peshawar. Pakistani Taliban have threatened to bomb a mobile phone market in the northwestern city of Peshawar for the ‘shameless’ selling of video clips, ringtones and accessories, officials said. Image Credit: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has seen a dramatic increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past five years as Mobile broadband subscriber reached 50 million with teledensity of 24.48 percent.

Mobile broadband market penetration increased from below 1% in 2012 to 24% in 2017, according to an official data.

The 3G/4G subscribers have been reached 47 million out of 143 million mobile users in the country, Teledensity for 3G/4G subscribers has reached 23.33 per cent and teledensity of cellular subscriber reached 70.25 percent, till the month of November where as mobile broadband (3G/4G) users' were 37.574 million till December 2016.

The Ufone 3G users reached 5.5 million, Telenor 3G users reached 10.5 million, Mobilink 3G users reached 14.06 million and Zong 3G users reached 9 million till November 2017.

Telenor 4G users reached 1.3 million, Mobilink 4G users reached 1.7 million and Zong 4G users reached 4.8 million.

Whereas the cellular subscribers have been reached 143 million with teledensity of 70.83 % revealed by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

Reducing Custom duty on Smartphone in year 2017-18 also increased usage of the smartphone and gived boost to mobile broadband.

Owing to boom in the Smartphone market and attract foreign brands, the government had reduced withholding tax on mobile phones from 14 percent. Moreover, customs duty on Smartphone sets will be cut to Rs650 per set. Government has reduced taxes on certain kind of smart phones, the budget document has claimed. According to details, one category - for which import duty was Rs1,000 - has been reduced to Rs 650. It must be mentioned that there were three categories of handsets as following: Feature phone - Import Duty: Rs 300, Low end smartphone - Import Duty: Rs 650 (Previously it was Rs 1,000) and High end smartphone -Import Duty: Rs1,500.

With this tax reduction mid-range and low-end phones will see a price reduction, as most of the smartphone companies in Pakistan adjust their prices according to taxes and import duties.