Rising Incomes Fuel Pakistan’s Continued Telecom Boom
“Why shouldn’t I keep a mobile phone when I can have it for less than 200 rupees ($3.5) a month,” said Mohammad Akram while tending to his vegetable stall on the roadside of a middle-class Karachi neighborhood. Thanks to Pakistanis’ rising incomes, which have doubled to over $800 per annum in the last six years, and increased competition, the teledensity rate is expected to go over 35 percent in the next couple of years, according to officials and analysts. Thieves on Karachi’s crime-ridden streets usually take two things from victims — their wallet and their mobile phone. Pakistan’s six mobile service providers now have a customer base of over 27 million — more than double the nearly 13 million subscribers at the start of the fiscal year.