Pakistan Communications - 2023


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Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 2,989,133 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2021 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 188,711,452 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 82 (2021 est.)

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Pakistan’s telecom market transitioned from a regulated state-owned monopoly to a deregulated competitive structure in 2003, now aided by foreign investment; moderate growth over the last six years, supported by a young population and a rising use of mobile services; telecom infrastructure is improving, with investments in mobile-cellular networks, fixed-line subscriptions declining; system consists of microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, fiber-optic cable, cellular, and satellite networks; 4G mobile services broadly available; 5G tests ongoing; data centers in major cities; mobile and broadband doing well and dominate over fixed-broadband sector; future growth (in market size as well as revenue) is likely to come from the wider availability of value-added services on top of the expansion of 4G LTE and (from 2023) 5G mobile networks; the Universal Service Fund (USF) continues to direct investment towards the development of mobile broadband (and, to a lesser extent, fiber-based networks) in under-served and even under served areas of the country, with multiple projects being approved to start in 2021 and 2022 (2021)

domestic: mobile-cellular subscribership has increased; more than 90% of Pakistanis live within areas that have cell phone coverage; fiber-optic networks are being constructed throughout the country to increase broadband access and broadband penetration in Pakistan is increasing--by the end of 2021, 50% of the population had access to broadband services; fixed-line teledensity is a little over 1 per 100 and mobile-cellular roughly 82 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 92; landing points for the SEA-ME-WE-3, -4, -5, AAE-1, IMEWE, Orient Express, PEACE Cable, and TW1 submarine cable systems that provide links to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia, and Australia; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); 3 operational international gateway exchanges (1 at Karachi and 2 at Islamabad); microwave radio relay to neighboring countries (2019)

Broadcast media

television is the most popular and dominant source of news in Pakistan with over 120 satellite tv stations licensed by the country’s electronic media regulatory body, PEMRA ,and 42 media companies/channels with landing rights permission; state-run Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) is the largest television network in the country and serves over 85 percent of the population with the largest terrestrial infrastructure of the country; PTV consists of nine TV Channels and PTV networks give special coverage to Kashmir; Pakistanis have access to over 100 private cable and satellite channels; six channels are considered the leaders for news reporting and current affairs programing in the country; state-owned Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC or Radio Pakistan) has the largest radio audience in the country, particularly in the rural areas; Radio Pakistan’s AM/SW/FM stations cover 98 percent of the population and 80 percent of the total area in the country; all major newspapers have online editions and all major print publications operate websites; freedom of the press and freedom of speech in the country are fragile (2022)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 48.3 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 21% (2021 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 2,523,027 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2020 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Pakistan on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Pakistan 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Pakistan 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.