Largest telecom service providers Jazz and Telenor reported sharply changing consumer usage patterns observed with a reduction in voice traffic leading internet traffic.
Chief Executive Officer of Jazz Aamir Ibrahim said that we are seeing a 10 per cent reduction in voice traffic at the same time there is a 15pc increase in internet traffic.
He further said that but because the internet bundles are so rich. The revenues from there do not compensate for the decrease in voice. Overall our revenues are hit by 8-10pc.
Chief Marketing Officer of Telenor Umair Mohsin said that there is an increase in data usage by smartphone users but the non-smartphone users have borne the brunt of the lockdowns.
He further said their calling is down, particularly the daily wagers and rural labour but this trend was evident even before the lockdowns since it is primarily driven by a decline in their incomes which predates the Covid-19-related disruptions.
Smartphone penetration in Pakistan is still very limited, they both emphasizing even though 97pc of internet access is through mobile in Pakistan. Smartphone penetration is still only 35pc.
There are around 75 million smartphones in Pakistan out of 165m total handsets which are a far lower penetration rate than in many other more developed markets.
He informed that 98pc of our customers still use prepaid services, which means they rely on retail outlets for recharge. Since the lockdowns began, daily wagers are now recharging their accounts every other day instead of daily.
Umair Mohsin told that Smartphone users have increased their use of WhatsApp, are consuming more video on demand services and playing more games since the lockdowns began. We are seeing more data use for video conferencing as well.
Both of them say there is a sharp increase in the use of mobile money such as Jazzcash or Easypaisa, as well as the use of bank apps. People are reducing their reliance on physical distribution and increasing digital distribution.
In pre-lockdown days, 18pc of the daily recharge used to be through mobile payments which have now risen to 35pc. Telenor has seen a near 20pc increase in the use of digital recharge channels.