Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Pakistan’s telecoms sector this year will be less than half the level attained in previous years. According to data released by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), quoted by local newspaper the Daily Times, FDI stood at USD1.8 billion for the year ending June 2007, but nine months into the current fiscal year the figure stands at only USD810.9 million. Despite significant foreign ownership among the country’s six mobile operators and ongoing investment, the initial phase of basic network spending is widely believed to be over. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, at the end of 2007 Pakistan was home to almost 77 million mobile subscribers, with Egypt-owned Mobilink leading the pack with a 39.77% share, ahead of UAE-controlled PTML (Ufone) with 21% and Norway-backed Telenor (18.96%) rounding out the top three cellcos.
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