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International Communications

Communication systems in Pakistan have improved at a rapid pace in the last decade. The internet and satellite systems have rapidly changed the landscape from which Pakistan communicates. Moving from a government run system to independent carriers, communicators have options and a range of products to choose from. Cell phones/mobile phones are everywhere and there are various independent companies that compete with each other. The internet of course, late in coming to Pakistan, is just as important there as it is in the rest of the world. Again, as with other communication devices, there are independent companies and providers that offer ranges in products and services. Under communications are also radio and television and which have also undergone major transformation with the privatization of businesses. They are briefly mentioned here. 

Telephone System

Main lines in use: 2,940,243 (2017 est.)

Mobile cellular: 144,525,637 (2017 est.)

General assessment: the telecommunications infrastructure is improving, with investments in mobile-cellular networks increasing, but 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 not before 2030; mobile platform and mobile broadband doing well (2018)

Domestic: mobile-cellular subscribership has skyrocketed; 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, though broadband penetration in Pakistan is still relatively low; fixed-line 1 per 100 and mobile-cellular 71 per 100 persons (2018)

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: 1 dominant state-owned TV broadcaster, Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV), operates a network consisting of 8 channels; private TV broadcasters are permitted; to date 69 foreign satellite channels are operational

Radio: the state-owned radio network operates more than 30 stations; nearly 200 commercially licensed, privately owned radio stations provide programming mostly limited to music and talk shows (2019)