Let’s do some math. Figures from very out-dated census data.
You have 150M people in Pakistan. However, more than 63% are in rural areas, almost half of the rest are women, and almost a fifth of the rest are 13-20 yr olds.
Another way of looking at this? Well, Pakistani households have an average of 5.5 peopleÃ‚Â per household (surprised? This number includes families living together joinly), and we have approximately 22M households in the country.
So, either way, if you look at the official numbers of telecom penetration – 34M ALIS, you can begin to see that we may actually have saturated the market for consumers who would think of getting cell phones.
See, the assumption that all 150M people will buy an individual cell phone is invalid — Pakistanis are family-oriented societies and most of the families may just share one telecom account for their needs. A decade or two ago, we even had entire apartment complexes sharing one phone.
Last year the big strategy was ‘high impact
launch market performance’ by scooping up as many early adopters as possible. You have seen that most of last year was spent marketing to the youth.
Now, even that market is saturated. Along with this, think about two more things:
- Telcos want to recover their close to $1B investment in GSM rollouts before considering further upgrades to 3G networks, so they are limited by the technology they can offer.
- That even though this is a sizable market size, the avg revenue per user in the telecom environment is around $4-6.
So, what do you think telecos would do? The basic strategies would be to:
- Expand the ‘total potential size of the market’ – by expanding networks in areas like AJK and,
- Try to encourage more people from each household in the existing market to get phones — specifically women!