Telecommunications: Zong overtakes Ufone as CMOs’ market share changes

Published: May 4, 2014
The PTA had predicted in its annual report for 2013 that the cellular segment witnessed a mixed competition and the market structure seemed to be shifting its position. PHOTO: FILE

The PTA had predicted in its annual report for 2013 that the cellular segment witnessed a mixed competition and the market structure seemed to be shifting its position. PHOTO: FILE


The market position of Pakistan’s telecommunication sector saw a change for the first time since June 2012 with cellular mobile teledensity also reaching an all-time high, according to the latest data released by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

After a slight dip last December, the country’s total mobile phone subscriptions reached an all-time high of 136.5 million at the end of March, 2014, corresponding to a cellular mobile teledensity of almost 75% for the first time, PTA statistics revealed.

The telecom regulator, which had long been falling behind time in updating the telecom statistics, published close to the latest numbers by releasing the Feb-March data – it has yet to publish telecom data for April, 2014.

The overall numbers were not the only firsts for the cellular mobile operators (CMOs); the results of the market share also saw some notable changes.

Zong, the Pakistani subsidiary of China Mobile, surpassed Ufone in overall subscribers at the end of February to finish at number three for the first time – the position was held by Ufone since June 2008. With 25.6 million subscriptions, Zong now accounts for 19% of the country’s telecom subscriptions – just one percentage point above Ufone that slipped to number 4 with a market share of 18% or 24.6 million subscribers at the end of March, 2014.

Telenor Pakistan, too, crossed 35 million subscribers in the period under review – a first for the company. The Pakistani arm of the Oslo-based cellular giant now holds 26% share in the country’s cellular subscriber base, only two percentage points behind the market leader Mobilink.

Mobilink maintained the top slot by growing its subscriptions to 38 million for the first time. Its share in the cellular segment is 28% as of March, 2014, revealed the data.

Warid Telecom, the smallest player by subscriber base, finished with a market share of 9% or 12.9 million subscriptions, according to the latest statistics. In terms of net additions, the five CMOs-combined sold 2.8 million cellular connections in February and March – increasing the overall subscriptions by 2%.

The PTA had predicted in its annual report for 2013 that the cellular segment witnessed a mixed competition and the market structure – in terms of subscribers – seemed to be shifting its position. According to the PTA, China Mobile Pakistan (Zong) and Telenor, relatively new players in the market, were the driving force behind the competition.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (6)

    May 4, 2014 - 1:30PM

    p/o mala tehsil zafarwal dist narowal village mala


  • Hassan
    May 4, 2014 - 2:57PM

    Warid and Ufone heading towards their slow and eneivtable death.


  • Ahmad
    May 4, 2014 - 4:40PM

    @Hassan: Very right Hasan what is lacking behind is “Diversity” “Innovation” and “ICT’ On the other hand many of the traditional telco businesses operating in this market are recording declining results — not because the market has not been growing, but because of the pressure on their margins.
    Many of the digital economy players now include communications services in their offerings they do not rely on these telecoms incomes to sustain their business. But the traditional telecoms players have largely been unable to tap into these new revenues, and this inability to generate new revenues is creating significant resentment among the traditional players, as they see that others are using telecoms to build a new industry in which they find it hard to participate
    Melbourne Australia


  • babar
    May 4, 2014 - 5:38PM

    Bad choice of color for donut chart!


  • Blackbird
    May 4, 2014 - 6:45PM

    Who made this chart ?? Wrong colors. Cant tell the difference. Also evn though Telenor is No.2, network availability was down at 70 percent even though a KPI of minimum 99.96 percent is required by any standards. Ufone, Telenor and Zong have major connectivity issues. Whereas Warid still strong on Voice services because of superior Ericsson equipment. Why dont the analysts mention all these points !!!!


  • ibbi
    May 5, 2014 - 9:27PM

    Worldcall Telecom Major Triggers Ahead:
    1- Worldcall telecom recently hired Marketing Executives in Lahore and Karachi in the quest of enhancing Market share in its Strongest areas of past. That is a visible move toward topline growth

    2-Worldcall signed with Walter Pakistan to Handle Communication and Marketing compaign, a visible move toward topline growth

    3-The parent company Omantel currently owned by government is in a process to divest its 19% stake for fund raising from public With the intention of ‘Sharing Opportunities & Spreading Ownership” Its being reported that this IPO is a bit Oversubscribed. This translates an addition of 204million Omani Riyal Capital to Omantel’s pocket giving it an opportunity to re-structure or expand, thanks to Sultanate People. Although its too early to predict but possibly some good news for Worldcall in the form of liquidity injection from the Parent, afterall banks are banks and Parents are Parents

    4-WorldCall 1Q14 results ended in net profit, though declined topline revenue, but

    better other income diluted the operational loss

    5-Public liking of Worldcall is still better than its Peers (as word of mouth in Lahore in Karachi)

    6-WorldCall telecom is still in list of Meezan’s Shariah Complaint Index, and it trading quite lower to its Book value

    7-WorldCall was purchased by Omantel in 2008 at a price of nearly 25PKR per share, and its Omantel’s biggest investmet outside, what does that means; company has lost 90% of its principle and now Omantel must be Hungary enough make profit out of it.

    8-Omantel recently got 35m dollars loan from Pakistani Banks on gaurantee of the Parent company, The management has started to use this lifeline for expansion and restructuring.

    9-Advent of 3G means more Mobile internet users on roads and more Broadband users in homes, Offices. Can be positive for Worldcall as well

    All this research from internet and company reports; To the Best of My knowlege; Please verify each point yourself before investment.

    I am not Prof analyst, so sorry for any error.

    Best of Luck



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