According to the Economic Survey 2017-18, the Pakistani government needs another Rs. 18 billion to provide IT services in the un-serviced rural areas in the country.
The survey states that the government of Pakistan has taken a number of initiatives in the past five years for the development of IT sector but the country has a long way to go to tap the potential growth level of IT services across the country which will mostly come from the rural areas which have been neglected in the past.
Pakistan Economic Survey 2017-18 reads, “It is estimated that around 7,700 kilometers of routes are un-served and at least Rs. 18 billion will be required to provide this (IT infrastructure and services) coverage.”
The government needs the additional funds after the fact that it spent a subsidy of more than Rs. 27 million in the last five years to bridge the gap between the connected and unserved areas of Pakistan.
As of March 2018, there are 53 million 3G/4G subscribers and 56 million broadband subscribers in Pakistan, according to the statistics provided by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
The survey also reveals that the government undertook extensive consultation with stakeholders for the auction of unsold 2×10 MHz of the frequency spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band. Thanks to the high base price of $295 million for the spectrum, the government was not able to sell it.
“It is planned that the first rolling spectrum plan for Pakistan will be issued during FY 2018-19,” said the Economic Survey 2017-18.
Pakistan also witnessed approximately $4 billion of total turnover including exports and domestic revenues of IT sector due to the increase in e-commerce, e-banking, e-health, e-education and other business-related IT applications.