KARACHI - The countrys telecom sector has shown 20 percent growth in its revenues by generating Rs327.8 billion total revenues in fiscal year 2008-09. As per annual report for year 2008-9 issued by PTA on Friday, the government collected Rs112 billion in the form of taxes from the sector. Teledensity of Pakistan stood at 62 percent showing a growth rate of 5.4 percent hence sustaining positive growth trends in the sector. The report says that in the reported period telecom sector continued to grow positively in terms of subscription, revenues and teledensity. It managed to attract $815 million Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2008-09. However, as most of the operators are foreign-based, the pessimistic outlook of global economy compelled the telecom operators to curtail the infrastructure expansion plans, still total investments in the sector stood at $1.7 billion. During the year, the sector contributed a total of Rs. 112b to national exchequer in the form of taxes whereas telecom imports also grew by 20pc and reached $1.6b. The mobile penetration reached 58.2pc and total mobile subscribers reached 94.3 million with more than 90pc of the country having access to mobile services. The trend in subscription remained tilted towards prepaid subscription with 98 percent prepaid subscriptions whereas only 2 percent subscribers are postpaid. Although the financial strength of mobile segment remained invariable still the cellular revenues grew by 16 percent and stood at Rs 212b at the end of 2008-09. The mobile investments dropped by 48 percent and reached $1.2 billion in the reported year. Major milestones achieved by PTA for mobile sector include taking up the responsibility to convince the Government of Pakistan to facilitate the sector by bringing down the tax rates on telecom industry which resulted in reduction in the rate of GST from 21pc to 19.5pc, in addition to bringing down the activation tax by 50pc while reducing the import duty on mobile handsets by 66pc by cutting it down from Rs.750 to Rs.250 in budget 2008-09. Moreover, cleaning of unverified SIMs and SIM activation system (789) now in place is expected to curb the unsocial activities. During 2008-09, basic services (LL, WLL & LDI) showed a healthy revenue growth rate of 26pc contributing Rs 113 billion to the sector revenue which is around 34pc of the total telecom sector revenue, however, with the declining trend fixed line teledensity reaching 2.2pc with a total of 3.5 million fixed-line subscribers in the country. Wireless local loop (WLL) has been able to sustain positive growth by winning the trust of customers. The WLL teledensity stands at 1.6pc with 2.65 million subscribers across Pakistan. Long Distance and International (LDI) operators have been in quandary for last few years due to high settlement rates and alarmingly high illegal telecom traffic. PTA took notice of the situation and initiated a number of steps in close coordination with LDI stakeholders. As a result, LDI sector experienced exceptional growth, reduction in illegal traffic and improved call rates. Currently, there are 09 companies providing LDI services via 163 Points of Presence (POPs) all across Pakistan. Pakistan has been experiencing proliferation of Broadband in the past two years. Broadband subscriber base grew by 146pc adding 245,727 subscribers during 2008-09. There are currently 413,809 Broadband subscribers in Pakistan as compared to 168,082 in 2008. As Broadband is still in its infancy in Pakistan, therefore, penetration level is relatively low at 0.26 percent. Broadband connection charges for 1Mbps connection dropped below Rs 1000/- for the first time in history which is an unusual incentive for new broadband customers.