Telecom services worldwide face a serious crunch in revenues due to innovation in telecom and digital services. Data services are quickly taking over voice which used to be the major revenue earner for telecom providers. Lately, data services have emerged as the natural focus area for telcos with major investment and enhancements underway.
Performance of Telenor
Telenor Pakistan has registered a healthy 10 percent revenue growth, highest reported for any telco in Pakistan, in the first quarter of 2017 amid a neck-to-neck competition in Pakistan’s telecom market driven by a 9% increase in subscription base compared to first quarter last year.
The company’s data subscriber market share increased with the addition of 1 Million new 3G and 4G subscriptions in the first quarter of 2017.
On the other hand, Jazz registered a growth of 5.4 percent for the same period primarily driven by new 900,000 subscriptions during the first quarter of 2017. Both Telenor and Jazz managed to maintain their subscriber market share.
In terms of data subs additions, Telenor and Zong’s data subscription witnessed sizeable increase during the first quarter of the year. The EBITDA margin for Telenor stood at 43.2 percent as compared to Jazz’s 41.8 percent for the same period.
The financial and market performance in absolute terms and in comparison with other operators is an indication that things are moving in the right direction for Telenor Pakistan and the company may well be following a plan for becoming a truly digital services provider that it aims to become.
Telenor going Digital
Telenor entered the market over a decade ago with innovative products and services and continued to provide ease and convenience to its customers through such offerings. Products and services like Easyload and Easypaisa set the right precedent for the entire industry to follow. Easyload facilitated convenient balance recharge while Easypaisa went on transform the entire financial landscape of the country.
Digital & Financial Services
Easypaisa was launched to bank the unbanked and underbanked Pakistanis, following which mobile financial services became such a phenomenon that not only competitors followed the lead but Tameer Microfinance Bank – Easypaisa’s launch & logistics partner – was later acquired by the Telenor Group making it a separate entity.
Telenor Pakistan claims to develop and enhance the digital and financial ecosystem through services like Khushhaal Zamindaar, Telenor Velocity, Internet of Things (IoT) and escrow services for promoting e-commerce in the country.
Pakistan’s telecom sector has lately hit a glass ceiling in terms of services uptake due to lack of affordability as the majority of the country’s population dwells below the poverty line. To address that issue, Telenor Pakistan introduced a cost effective range of smartphones and other digital gadgetry to facilitate technological uptake among the lowest economic tier.
Telecom sector in Pakistan has enjoyed growth and success in the past. As far as the future and successful transformation of telcos are concerned, it may seem like a tall order to most. However Telenor Pakistan with its healthy financial performance, digitization of products, services, and interactions, and hefty investment into a new corporate headquarters costing the company over $70 million, it may be argued that the company is here to stay, grow and succeed.