ARPUs in Pakistan Drop to Record Low of Less than $1: GSMA

Mobile users in Pakistan spend less than $1 per month, which is the lowest in the world. Inflation in Pakistan has reached its highest level in 47 years. The average revenue per user (ARPUP) in Pakistan is less than $1, making it one of the lowest ARPUs in the World.

Pakistan lags behind other South Asian countries in several indicators regarding mobile internet adoption and usage. The wider coverage gap in the country as compared to neighbors highlights the non-infrastructural barriers to mobile Internet adoption. Rising operating costs due to currency depreciation and higher energy prices have implications for the economic health of the industry.

In Pakistan, mobile internet users are 22 percent as compared to 29 percent in Bangladesh, 53 percent in Sri Lanka, and 46 percent in India. The usage gap in Pakistan is 56 percent whereas it is 69 percent in other South Asian countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh is the first country in the world to award spectrum licenses with a 15-year term, rather than issuing upfront assignment fees. The fee payments are staggered over 10 years, giving operators flexibility with long-term financial planning. In Bhutan, spectrum fees are charged annually by the Bhutan InfoComm & Media Authority (BICMA) rather than annual.

The report recommends reviewing and freezing the forex rate for license-fee payment, staggering license- fee installments over 10 years, and reviewing policy-mandated levies such as universal service funds (USFs).