ISLAMABAD: Mobile phone imports in the country have reached US $ 433.276 million in current fiscal year (July-January), registering 10.39 percent increase as compared to same period last year.
The imports of mobile phone were $392.493 million in same period last year, statistics of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed on Sunday.
The data said overall telecom imports saw a decline of 5.5 percent during July-January 2015-16 as compared to same period last year. The total telecom imports were recorded at $800.127 million during the period as compared to $846.713 million previous year.
Other telecom apparatus import also witnessed a significant decline of 19.23 percent during this period as it stood at $366.851 million during July-January (2015-16) against $454.220 million during same period of last year.
Meanwhile, telecom experts said in next two years, smartphones are expected to cross 55 per cent of mobile phone imports.
Smartphones adoption in Pakistan is expected to grow due to expanding 3G and 4G networks (currently 3G services are available in more than 200 cities and towns) and more affordable smartphones being available in the market.
Moreover, according to Grappetite Research, 77 per cent of smartphone users are between ages of 21-30 years which is the most adaptive segment for use of smartphones.
Cellular mobile operators have also collaborated with smartphone manufacturers to promote smartphone usage in Pakistan and companies have also started developing mobile apps and mobile websites keeping in view the fast adoption of smartphones in Pakistan, which will increase the smartphone usage in future.
With the rapid expansion of mobile broadband networks and adoption of smartphones in the society, the telecom import burden has gradually increased over the last five years.
In the Fiscal Year 2014-15, Pakistan imported $1.2 billion worth of telecom equipment, in which a record import of $629.9 million was on account of cellular mobile handsets imports.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), Pakistan remained one of the fastest growing markets for smartphones shipments in 2015 – 123 per cent growth was registered in smartphone shipments to Pakistan between Q-1 2014 and Q-1 2015.
Currently, almost 31 per cent of cellular mobile handsets imported in Pakistan are smartphones, which were only about 7 per cent in 2012.
In order to tap the potential of over $1.2 billion market of telecom equipment (including handsets) in Pakistan, the government was encouraging foreign investment in this area and has announced fiscal incentives for manufacturing and assembly of telecom equipment.